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Westbrook surgery deemed a success

Running back Brian Westbrook had successful surgery today to clear bone spurs in his right ankle, according to the Eagles.

The surgery was performed this morning by Dr. Mark Myerson of the Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction in Baltimore.

"He did make an insicion and clean out scar tissue and then remove two bone fragments," Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder said today at the NovaCare complex. "Both of these fragments were in the back of the ankle."

Myerson told the Inquirer that Westbrook's 90-minute surgery was not simple.

"It was a very difficult surgery because of the location of the problem in the back of his ankle," Myerson said. "It's difficult to get into the back of an ankle surgically. That's an area where there are a lot of blood vessels and nerves. He had a lot of loose fragments and terrible inflammation and scarring. I removed the bone fragments and the scarring around the tendons."

Myerson indicated that Westbrook's problem was related to the Week 3 injury he suffered last season against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite the difficulty of the surgery, Myerson is optimistic that Westbrook will be ready for the Eagles' Sept. 13 season opener against the Carolina Panthers, but he doesn't think the running back will be able to play in any of the team's preseason games.

"Like any surgery, there is always the potential for problems, but I didn't encounter any during the surgery," Myerson said. "I found what I expected. There were no surprises. Now he has to go through a very extensive rehab and it will be too soon for him to play in the preseason."

Myerson said the surgery he performed on Westbrook is most common among gymnasts and ballet dancers and that he has performed it quite often.

"I've taken care of these types of injuries," Myerson said. "It takes two to three months to get better. It's a fairly predictable course, but it's not a quick recovery."

"Brian texted us and said he was doing well," said Burkholder, who will begin conditioning with Westbrook after a two-week rest period.

"I'm not worried," Eagles coach Andy Reid said.

The coach said the Eagles have examined other options at running back, but the team doesn't appear to be in any hurry to sign a player as an insurance policy right now.

"I wanted to see what the outcome was of the surgery," Reid said. "It seems like it's all positive right now. "Not that we haven't looked. ... But do I feel an urgency, no, to bring guys in."

The Eagles got another dose of bad news when backup running back LeSean McCoy injured his thumb at practice today. The rookie sprained his thumb during one-on-one drills and left practice.

"We anticipate if everything goes well this weekend that he's got a chance to practice next [week]," Burkholder said. "But it's just a thumb sprain."