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Burkholder: ACL Surgery For Kelce

The Eagles placed center Jason Kelce on Injured Reserve on Tuesday after it was determined that his partially torn ACL would need to undergo reconstructive surgery.

"I think he knew he had a knee injury that was pretty significant just from what he felt on the field and what he saw on tape," said head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder on a conference call Tuesday afternoon. "I think he was hoping for the best, but had prepared himself for the worst."

Kelce was injured in the third quarter of Sunday's win over Baltimore. On Monday, Burkholder explained that Kelce suffered a torn MCL and a partially torn ACL. There was a glimmer of hope that once the MCL healed Kelce could play with a brace despite the ACL injury. To determine how bad the ACL tear actually was, Kelce was scheduled to undergo a diagnostic arthroscopy Tuesday morning.

Burkholder and head team physician Dr. Peter DeLuca spent Monday coming up with a gameplan as they talked with other physicians and athletic trainers around the league. On Monday afternoon, it was determined that Kelce would have the MCL surgically repaired during the diagnostic arthroscopy.

On Tuesday morning, Drs. DeLuca and Chris Dodson repaired the MCL at Jefferson at the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia. While examining the knee, it was determined that even though the ACL was not fully torn, it was damaged to the point where it needed to be surgically repaired. Kelce returned to the NovaCare Complex following the MCL procedure to receive treatment to help with the swelling. Burkholder said that if everything goes according to plan, the ACL surgery will take place in the next three to four weeks.

Even though the ACL was only partially torn, the reconstructive procedure is the same as if it was fully torn. Burkholder said that the Eagles like to give the rehab process following an ACL injury nine months, which would mean he could return to the field by mid-June 2013. Burkholder was optimistic for Kelce's long-term progress because of his age and that the rest of the knee was in good shape.

Dallas Reynolds moves into Kelce's spot in the starting lineup. The Eagles re-signed offensive lineman Steve Vallos on Tuesday to be the backup center to Reynolds.

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