Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Athletic Trainer Rick Burkholder

Opening Comments: "Alright, just an update on (DT) Mike (Patterson). We've gone through the process of evaluation and he returned to practice today. Before he returned to practice today, over the last eight to ten days, he has physically seen three AVM specialists, and had his studies sent to another one. All four of those physicians have dealt with Mike, his family, (Team Internist) Dr. (Gary) Dorshimer, and Mike also saw a seizure specialist here in Philadelphia. Right now he was cleared to return to practice. He's got a couple of options to correct the AVM, which he's been told by all physicians that it's OK to wait until the end of the season.

"He's on medication to control the seizures. We're comfortable, he's comfortable. As we told you before it would be a group decision that ultimately he had to make, and he's decided that he's ready to play. We've evaluated his conditioning over the last seven to ten days, he was out there today, and I think he did pretty well with his teammates and the plan is to have him back out to practice tomorrow. As the week progresses we'll decide when he returns to game action. That's really up to (Head) Coach (Andy Reid), myself, and him, we'll get together later in the week."

On whether the specialist said there is no risk to Patterson by participating in football and that the AVM could be taken care of with treatment once the season ends: "Correct. The AVM itself will be addressed at the end of the season, although, he has the options in front of him, and he hasn't totally decided what to do with it, but he's got a couple of options. He's comfortable with the doctors he saw. He's trying to decide which doctor to go with and what procedure to go with, and we're fine with that. The seizure part of it, he's fine to return to play."

On whether Patterson will be ready for the start of the season barring any setbacks: "We're going to evaluate, like I said, this is a day-in-day out process with him. It comes down to Coach, and the coaching staff, and the medical staff together with Mike, and we'll see."

On Patterson's options for surgery or radiation: "You're right about that, that those are two of the options, surgery and what they call gamma knife for radiation. He's weighing his options and what the down time is for those, and what the side effects are with those, and all that kind of stuff. He's going to decide that as the season progresses, he and his wife, and Dr. Dorshimer will be involved, and I'm involved. We have a pretty good idea what he wants to do, but we're not going to discuss that right now because that may change over time. Right now he's got a really good thought process and a really good game plan. He's really comfortable. We've obviously been in a lot of discussions with Mike, and sat down with him, and Dr. Dorshimer, and Coach has been involved in it. Mike Patterson is a smart guy, and he's done his homework, and he's done his due process, and now he's ready to go back to play."

On whether Patterson will be ready for next year after offseason treatment: "He's weighing all that stuff. There are side effects to anything that you do, and he's trying to weigh his life that involves football in that decision, and we are too. He's got a really good thought process and he's done his homework. I mean, he's done his homework as good as anybody I've seen have an injury or illness, and he's on the right track right now. He's very much ready to return to football and have whatever procedure he decides to have done at the end of the year."

On whether there is any concern that Patterson will have another seizure: "Well any time someone has anything, we're concerned that they'd have a reoccurrence, but we think that those numbers are very small. We've done our homework and dealt with a seizure specialist to know that the amount of time that he sat out right now without having another seizure decreases his chances of having another seizure. So we're comfortable with that. We didn't know Mike was going to have a seizure, and we're trained to handle that whether he has it or not, we're ready, he's ready, he knows, and we're progressing forward with it."

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