Aug 042011
Eagles players gather around the fallen Mike Patterson

Eagles players gather around the fallen Mike Patterson

Despite the pretty scary looking scene involving Mike Patterson’s seizure yesterday morning, the assumption was that he was just dehydrated and would be fine and back on the field shortly.  Unfortunately, while he should still recover, it’s nowhere near that simple.

According to Eagles head trainer Rick Burkholder, Patterson could have arteriovenous malformation, or AVM, in his brain.  A congenital condition, it will require surgery or radiation to repair.  That’s not good.

Patterson will have further testing to determine a true diagnosis and necessary treatment for whatever his condition may be.

UPDATE: Here’s an official statement from Patterson’s agent JR Rickert (whose site still sucks):

Media reports are not accurate.  Mike has not yet decided on surgery.  He has not received an official diagnosis of a brain AVR and is continuing to be evaluated by multiple doctors.  Once we know the course of treatment and timetable for recovery, Mike and his wife Bianca will decide how to proceed.

Here’s AVM explained, per WebMD:

Arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a vascular lesion in which arteries and veins are tangled and not connected by capillaries. They are often presumed to be congenital, and they are rarely detected in the perinatal period, and otherwise there is no direct evidence that they form in utero. The lack of capillaries allows blood traveling through the abnormal fistulous connections to flow rapidly. High flow in the fistulas can lower proximal arterial pressure and increase the pressure in the veins draining the AVM. AVM can occur in many different parts of the body, but those located in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord (neurological AVM) can affect the entire body.

And here are the observations of a respected medical doctor with local ties (OK, a PSC poster and moderator who also happens to be a physician):

From reading some quick medical journals seems Paterson is out for the year minimum depending on the size of the thing.

If he goes the radiation route most medical evidence suggests that you should watch it for 1-3 years before deeming it stable. Now the doctors could ignore this a little since he can probably choose to play with a 95% certainty its stable if he wants but its probably a decision he and team doctors will have to make.

Not too sure about what the recovery of the surgery route would be since its more case dependent but my guess is he’s out for the 1st half of the year minimum, probably out for the year and possibly done for his career.

Terrible news.  I’ve been pretty hard on Patterson as a player but as a person this is just an awful situation.  He’s wished nothing but the best on his way to a fast and complete recovery.

So while Patterson begins the long climb of healing, the Eagles must move on.

That begins with the smart move of immediately signing defensive tackles Anthony Hargrove and Derek Landri yesterday afternoon.  Hargrove, at 28, is in his prime and has real talent.  Really, it’s very possible he’s an immediate starter next to the newly signed Cullen Jenkins.

Hargrove has struggled with substance abuse throughout his career but really seemed to turn things around the past two season in New Orleans, which included a Super Bowl victory.  Hopefully he’s looking to do whatever it takes to get another one, this time in Philly.

Landri is a veteran with starting experience who will provide solid depth if not a lot of impact.  That’s good enough for right now, though.

And Patterson isn’t the only Eagles DT dealing with injury, albeit a severe one.

Antonio Dixon has a mild knee sprain and is day to day.  Hopefully.

Trevor Laws is dealing with a hip flexor injury that, while not that serious, could keep him out a few weeks.

Victor Abiamiri, himself trying to overcome the long shadow of injury trouble, is in a walking boot with crutches.  He had been working at defensive tackle, likely trying to find a niche as an undersized pass rushing guy on the inside in Jim Washburn’s new scheme.  Eagles head trainer Rick Burkholder refused to comment on what happened and Abiamiri isn’t talking either.  Per Geoff Mosher, Abiamiri has actually left camp altogether.

Speaking of absences, second-year defensive end Ricky Sapp, who missed last season due to injury, has left camp.  No word yet on why or if he was simply cut.  Quite a fall for a once first-round prospect.

So with the lack of capable bodies on the line continuing to grow, the Eagles have signed undrafted rookie defensive tackles Brandon Collier of UMass and Charles Noonan of Rutgers.  Strictly camp bodies, but all of a sudden DT is a real problem.

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