Defensive end Jevon Kearse hammed it up while posing in the throwback uniform the Eagles will wear for their Sept. 23 home game, against the Detroit Lions, to celebrate their 75th anniversary this season.

The uniform was yellow and blue, the colors of the inaugural Eagles team in 1933 after the Frankford Yellow Jackets went bankrupt.

Kearse didn't care that he was used only as a model during yesterday's news conference at the NovaCare Complex detailing the ways the Eagles would commemorate the anniversary.

"It feels good to be in a uniform," said Kearse, who noted it would be even better to wear the uniform at a practice or game.

During yesterday's gathering, where kicker David Akers also served as a uniform model, Kearse was all smiles.

This was a departure from the way he felt after suffering a season-ending left-knee injury in the Eagles' second game of the season, a 30-24 overtime loss to the visiting New York Giants on Sept. 17.

On Sept. 28 Kearse underwent surgery, having cartilage repaired and his fractured left tibia placed in a cast. Now the injury seems like a distant memory.

"I think with two to three weeks more of rehab, I should be 100 percent," Kearse said.

Always among the best-conditioned athletes in the NFL, or any league for that matter, Kearse, 30, pursued his rehabilitation with a relentless dedication.

He could have passed for a wide receiver yesterday. The three-time Pro Bowl selection is listed at 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds, but conceded he was between 235 and 240 pounds.

"The reason I lost the weight was because I have been working overtime getting in shape," Kearse said. "I know this sounds crazy, but I have been doing too much cardio."

He said he hoped to enter training camp at 250 to 265 pounds.

While Kearse displayed a carefree attitude yesterday, the frustration of dealing with the injury got to him in the early stages.

"It was very tough, and I am not going to lie," he said. "At one point, I was somewhat depressed when I was back in Florida."

He said the depression came because the Eagles were struggling. They were 5-6 after losing five of six games. The Eagles rebounded to win their final five regular-season games, which earned them the NFC East title.

Kearse said he was depressed because, had he played, some of the games might have been won. "Then again, because I was injured, I was feeling sorry for myself, but it was only for a small period," he said.

What made the injury even more difficult to take was that Kearse was almost unblockable in the Eagles' first two games, in which he recorded 31/2 sacks.

"That was the most damning part of it because it was my best start of my career, but I have been talking to other athletes and they tell me if it's meant to be, it's meant to be," Kearse said. "So I'm expecting to start up where I left off."

With Kearse, the Eagles had 13 sacks in two games. Without him, they totaled 27 in the final 14 regular-season contests.

"He has elite skills and it takes a lot of rehab to come back to that level, and he has done everything possible to achieve that," owner Jeffrey Lurie said. "We were a dominating defense with him, and we need him."

Kearse's joy at returning was matched by the reception he received from his teammates.

"He is an incredible specimen, and I can't say enough about him as a person and a teammate," Akers said. "It's a shame we lost him last year, and he could have had a great year, and we are looking for good things from him this year."

Kearse's outlook: Let's just say he's got a good appetite.

"I want to get to the QB," he said. "I'm a QB eater, and I'm hungry and need to eat."