The wait for Dallas Cowboys defensive end Anthony Spencer to return from preseason knee surgery is over. He is out for the remainder of the season.

Owner Jerry Jones announced Tuesday on his radio show that Spencer needs season-ending and potentially career-threatening microfracture surgery on his left knee.

The Cowboys used their franchise tag with a one-year guaranteed salary of $10.6 million on Spencer in the off-season. He will become a free agent at the end of this season.

Agent Jordan Woy said Spencer should be 100 percent by January or February according to doctors.

“He is OK. Disappointed but ready to get back next season” Woy said.

The seven-year veteran has been trying to recover from arthroscopic knee surgery in July. But loose cartilage remained a problem he said last week and bone was still making contact with bone.

Spencer who missed the entire preseason and the season opener against the New York Giants suffered a setback in his recovery after playing 34 snaps against Kansas City in Week 2 after a limited practice week.

Spencer missed two games last season with a shoulder injury. He still had a career-best 11 sacks and made 106 tackles.

George Selvie who has two sacks in three games this season will continue to start at left defensive end. Caesar Rayford who has worked at defensive tackle since he was acquired from Indianapolis will move back to end and compete for snaps with Edgar Jones.