Eagles running back Brian Westbrook will have his second operation of the off-season.
After reports by Comcast SportsNet and ESPN.com, the Eagles confirmed that Westbrook would have bone spurs removed from his right ankle on June 5. The surgery will be performed by Mark Myerson in Baltimore.
A team source said the team was unsure of the recovery time. The Eagles open training camp July 26 and begin the regular season Sept. 13.
Coach Andy Reid said during the team's playground-building event today at the Potter-Thomas School in West Kensington that Westbrook was visiting Myerson in Baltimore. Myerson is a foot specialist who operated on wide receiver Terrell Owens late in the 2004 season.
Westbrook participated in the Eagles' mandatory minicamp in early May, but Reid said Tuesday that the running back recently called trainer Rick Burkholder to tell him he was having a problem with his ankle.
Westbrook had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in February, and Reid said he had responded well to that procedure. Westbrook missed time last season because of the knee injury and a high sprain of his right ankle suffered in Week 3 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
His production also suffered a significant decline from the 2007 season, when he led the NFL with 2,104 yards from scrimmage.
Westbrook's agent, Todd France, who did not return a call from The Inquirer, told ESPN.com that this injury was not related to the ankle sprain from last season.
"It's just some bone spurs," France said, according to ESPN.com. "We talked about it when he was at the doctor's office, and went through the options and decided it was better to clean it up. The ankle has been bothering him since last year."
France said Westbrook probably would not have undergone surgery if the problems had occurred during the season.
Missing Johnson. Eagles president Joe Banner said the absence of defensive coordinator Jim Johnson from the team's current camp had been perhaps the most difficult thing the team had gone through during Jeffrey Lurie's time as owner.
Johnson took a leave of absence while he continued treatment for cancer.
"We're all just thinking about Jim every day, and we're all just hoping that soon he'll be back with us and rebound from this challenging illness and challenging treatment," Banner said.
"Things that touch your heart are different than the things in your everyday life and job," he said. "When you have worked as long with such a high-character individual like Jim . . . something like this is on a different level than anything else you do."