EXCLUSIVE: Andrews had huge setback
A couple of weeks before the Eagles played the San Francisco 49ers, Shawn Andrews was lining up tickets so friends could watch him play in the game.
Teammates confirmed the Pro Bowl guard was encouraged by his rehab from a herniated disc in his lower back.
But Andrews recently had a setback according to sources close to the player, leaving him basically with one last option to play this season.
Dr. Robert Watkins, an authority on backs, prescribed and performed mircodiscectomy surgery on Andrews Tuesday in Marina Del Rey, Calif.
The six weeks-to-three month timetable the Eagles gave for the return of Andrews tells you everything they know about the repairs. Basically, they don’t know. And with the 360-pound Max Jean-Gilles rounding into game shape, the Eagles are prepared to go on although for now Andrews will occupy a roster spot instead of being placed on injured reserve.
“Dr. (Robert) Watkins believes he got the fragments of the herniated disc out and he should sail,” trainer Rick Burkholder said Wednesday. “He didn’t have any kind of narrowing of the spine where they had to take bone away that we see causes longer term effects. We think that this was the best approach for Shawn, that we got it taken care of and once he gets through the rehab process we’ll be able to sail ahead with him.”
The Eagles privately haven’t given up on getting more than two games out of Andrews, who has begun a five-week rehab according to his agent, Rich Moran. The surgery was sensitive enough that coast-to-coast air travel temporarily was out of the question.
Andrews was unavailable for comment, but he’s OK with the way Burkholder and the Eagles exhausted all treatments trying to get him back on the field before the surgery according to Moran.
Had Andrews met with Watkins from the get-go, Moran said of discussions with his client, the doc “would have done it the same way.
“Dr. Watkins made his decision based on the weeks of rehab and treatment,” Moran said. “The Eagles handled it the right way. They’ve been very forthright. Their trainer has done everything to help Shawn get back on the field to play.”