Jonathan Cooper injury: Cardinals hopeful rookie back for final 6 games

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals are hoping their first round pick could still play in 2013, despite suffering a serious injury in preseason.

Jonathan Cooper underwent surgery Monday to repair a broken leg he sustained in the Arizona Cardinals 24-7 loss to the San Diego Chargers during preseason action.

Arizona head coach Bruce Arians is holding out hope that his first round pick will be able to contribute this season, telling the media Monday that the timetable for Cooper's recovery is 10-12 weeks. This would put the guard back on the field for the final six games of the 2013 season, which includes three divisional matchups.

Selected with the seventh overall pick in April's draft, Cooper was supposed to help revitalize the Cardinals' offense, and most importantly offer protection for new quarterback Carson Palmer, who arrived in Arizona via trade this offseason. Six-year veteran Chilo Rachal is expected to start at left guard in Cooper's absence.

Rachal was signed as a free agent this year following a year in Chicago that saw the guard leave the Bears due to "personal reasons." Prior to leaving he was having one of his worst seasons of his career, and looked like a shadow of the player he was as a staple on the San Francisco 49ers' offensive line.

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