BETHLEHEM - There is often a surprise when Eagles coach Andy Reid lists the injuries in his inaugural training-camp address. Yesterday there were a couple.
Reid revealed a previously undisclosed pectoral-muscle strain suffered a few weeks ago in weight training, he said, by defensive end Victor Abiamiri, whose training camp began with a broken wrist this time last year. Reid forecast a mid-August return to practice for Abiamiri.
It might have been equally surprising that Reid - often an optimist when it comes to healing - held to a similar timetable for running back Brian Westbrook, recovering from surgery to clean out ankle-bone chips last month.
"I think he has a chance to be back by mid-August, and then we'll just take it from there," Reid said, after explaining that Westbrook will work on his own with head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder during the 3 days of rookie workouts before veterans arrive. "You never know on these things. Everybody heals a little bit different. Some people heal faster than other people. We'll just see how it works out."
Asked what "back" meant, Reid said: "In a position where he can practice. Brian has a pretty good feel of the offense. Then it will just be a matter of making sure that he's healthy once we get ready for Carolina. We'll just see where he is in August when he's able to practice."
So, still no chance of Westbrook playing in a preseason game, it would seem, but some chance he gets to work on timing and such with his rebuilt offensive line.
Speaking of that line, right guard Stacy Andrews, coming off ACL surgery last December, said his right knee feels good but he isn't all the way back yet. Andrews said he wanted to see what Burkholder had in mind before speculating on whether he might participate Friday, in the first full-squad contact drills of camp.
Reid said Andrews will practice with the rookies today. He didn't want to speculate about Friday.
"We'll just how he does," Reid said. "Right now that's what we're looking at."
It was at least a little surprising that first-round wideout Jeremy Maclin was not on hand when the rookies convened last night, given the optimism on both sides of that contract negotiation before the past few days. One problem seems to be that only three of the 32 first-rounders have signed.
* Reid touched on the fact that the Birds are being mentioned in connection with the Super Bowl, although he didn't exactly declare he had the best roster in the league, as team president Joe Banner did. Reid said he was glad to hear Banner was so excited.
"We understand that expectations are up, and we welcome that as a football team and as a coaching staff, with the full understanding that you're only as good as the day's work that you put in," Reid said. "We will work hard this camp, and as expectations go up, obviously, tolerance levels go down. As a coach, I want to see guys coming out here and working hard. I want to see them mastering the playbook and executing. We have some areas that are of obvious concern. When we talk about the red zone and goal line and short yardage, those are areas that we have to focus on and get better at."
* Reid said he had "texted with" disgruntled corner Sheldon Brown and offered that Brown "hasn't lost his sense of humor," although Reid didn't explain what he meant. He said Brown will "be ready to go" when veterans are scheduled to report on Wednesday.
* Todd Pinkston is in camp. Yes, that's right, but don't get your hopes up, fans. The second-round pick from the 2000 draft is here as a coaching intern, at the invitation of wide receivers coach Dave Culley, who knows Pinkston is trying to break into coaching back home in Mississippi.
"Once you've been playing sports and football all your life, it's something you want to hand down to the kids coming up, that look up to you," Pinkston said.
As it turned out, Pinkston's last NFL game was Super Bowl XXXIX, in which he caught four first-half passes, then sat out the rest of the evening with cramps. He tore an Achilles' tendon the next training camp and was never the same.
"It took a while [to adjust to not playing], but it sunk in," Pinkston said. "You don't play long."
Also interning is former Eagles defensive end Brandon Whiting, who has settled in the Philadelphia area after finishing his career in San Francisco. Whiting became a 49er in a trade for some guy named Owens, a while back.
* Reid said guard Max Jean-Gilles (broken fibula) should be ready for contact Friday. Ditto wideout Kevin Curtis (sports hernia). He said long snapper Jon Dorenbos is suffering from a case of shingles and can't travel just yet. *