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Curtis' Teammates Know What Lies Ahead

Sidelined for a few weeks at minimum, Kevin Curtis, never one with injury troubles, might be feeling a little bit lonely.

But though his sports hernia requires surgery, which he will undergo Thursday, he's got a few teammates in the locker room who know exactly what he's going through.

Within the past few seasons, quarterback Donovan McNabb, tight end L.J. Smith and cornerback Sheldon Brown have all felt the effects of the injury. While Brown managed to soldier through, McNabb and Smith both missed time.

What exactly is a sports hernia? Not a hernia, technically. According to, it's a small tear of the oblique muscles near the groin, which restricts movements of the hips through pain. The surgery developed to rectify the problem, though, is similar to traditional hernia surgeries.

With that in mind, it's hard to imagine Brown being productive with the injury. He reiterated multiple times that it simply "hurts, man." Brown described the pain as a constant sharp, stabbing pressure concentrated in the specific area of the tear, more intense with particular movements. He suffered the injury toward the end of the 2003 campaign, and had surgery the following offseason.

But Brown said the nature of his position might make playing with the injury more difficult, and the recovery more intensive than it might be for Curtis.

"The thing that can save (Curtis) is he knows where he's going. He knows what point he's got to get to," Brown said. "And with me, as a defensive back, I don't know where the guy's going, so it's a little more damaging on the muscle."

Head coach Andy Reid said it would be hard to know exactly the extent of Curtis' tear until the surgery is performed, as the differences between sports hernias can be large. McNabb, who declined comment, missed the final seven games of the 2005 season with the injury.

Smith, however, tried to make his way back from the procedure too soon, and paid the price, he said.

"(Kevin)'s definitely got to take it easy. You're going to feel better, and then you're going to think you are better, and that's definitely not the case," Smith said. "So, for him, just take it easy and work your way back in slowly, and then hopefully we can get him back as soon as possible."

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