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Allen Park — Before missing three games with a left knee injury earlier this season, Lions right guard Larry Warford couldn't recall the last time he missed any time on the field.

Now, as the Lions prepare for their playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys, Warford has to spend as much time as possible in the training room to give him a chance to play after suffering a right knee injury last week against the Green Bay Packers.

"It sucks," he said Wednesday. "Opportunities like this don't come by every year. They talk about all time how fortunate we are to put ourselves in this position. If I don't get to play, it's just crappy."

Warford was wearing a brace on his left knee Sunday, something he hadn't done until suffering the first injury in Week 10. Now, after suffering another knee injury, he plans to wear a brace on both knees to hopefully avoid future injuries.

"I'll probably be bracing up for the rest of my career," he said.

Warford was one of only two players who missed practice Wednesday, and the Lions expect defensive tackle Nick Fairley (knee) to miss his ninth straight game. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson (ankle) was limited, following his typical weekly routine.

Warford, though, still doesn't know how much of a chance he has to play Sunday.

"It feels better, but the decision is up to them for sure," he said.

If Warford can't play, rookie Travis Swanson will start at right guard. He started the three games Warford missed earlier in the year and last week at center with Dominic Raiola suspended. Missing his first playoff game would be devastating for Warford, whose been the Lions' best offensive lineman since the team drafted him in the third round last year, but he already experienced that sinking feeling when he went down in the second quarter last Sunday.

"That was probably one of the more disappointing things that happened to me this season because I felt like it was probably going to be one of my best games of the year," he said. "I felt like I was playing on fire. It was a big game. I was captain of the game. To go down in the second quarter, it sucks."

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com

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