The good news for Montario Hardesty this week was that his injured right thumb wasn't broken but dislocated. The bad news was that he'll undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Thursday and a source told cleveland.com that he'll miss the first two to three regular-season games.

It's the same knee in which Hardesty tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the final preseason game of 2010 and caused him to miss his entire rookie year.

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski delivered the surprising news of the scope after practice on Wednesday when Hardesty was nowhere to be found on the field.

It probably also explains why Hardesty stalked into the fieldhouse Tuesday after practice with a frustrated look on his face. Observers assumed it was because he didn't want to answer questions about the dislocated right thumb which was heavily padded and gloved. Or his hamstring tendon which has caused him to miss most of the 17 training camp practices so far.

Such has been the star-crossed preseason for Hardesty who worked hard in the off-season to build on a promising 2012 season.

But all is not lost. Browns coaches like Hardesty's running ability and believe he adds value. If he can get back in the expected four to six weeks he still has a shot to remain on the 53-man roster.

"You just have to keep coming back and keep fighting and that theme (of dedication) we've talked about a lot it applies everywhere'' said Chudzinski. "He'll make it back.''

Chudzinski said Hardesty's knee had been troubling him in camp and the procedure is unrelated to the hamstring tendon that has plagued him. He called it just a clean-up and offered no timetable for Hardesty's return.

Chudzinski also declined to speculate on Hardesty's future.

"We'll just to see when he gets back and balance that with the other guys and how they're doing and how they've done in the next couple of weeks'' he said.

Hardesty has a long injury history that includes a torn ACL in both knees and a torn calf muscle that caused him to miss half of the 2011 season.

He tore his right ACL his freshman year at Tennessee in 2005 and underwent a left knee scope after that season. But it didn't stop him from rushing for 1345 yards and 13 touchdowns in his final Volunteer season in 2009. Former Browns GM Tom Heckert thought so much of Hardesty that he traded up into the second-round -- with Joe Banner's Eagles -- to get him.

When finally healthy last season Hardesty gained 271 yards and scoring a TD in 65 attempts.

Dion Lewis has a chance to solidify his standing as the No. 2 back Thursday against the Lions and Hardesty's issues increase Brandon Jackson's chances of making the roster.

"Dion's had a really good camp and shown some things he can do and Brandon Jackson can run the football and it will be good to get Trent (Richardson) out there'' said Chudzinski. "(Chris) Ogbonnaya's shown his versatility in all areas whether it's tailback or fullback.''