Eagles G Andrews seeks another opinion on ailing back

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Eagles guard Shawn Andrews, hoping to avoid a second back surgery in two years, saw another specialist in Dallas to get another opinion on an injury that has sidelined him for the past two seasons.

Eagles coach Andy Reid said that Andrews, who went on injured reserve before the start of the season, was seeking more information on what is becoming a career-threatening injury.

"He's in Dallas getting a second opinion, well actually I guess it's a third opinion," Reid said Friday. "That request came from Dr. (Robert) Watkins."

Andrews wrote earlier this week on his Twitter account that he was scheduled to have another surgery next week and asked for prayers on his recovery.

In another tweet, he said he hoped the surgery would leave him pain-free and that he would be able to resume his career.

Andrews has played just six quarters of football the past two seasons. He went on injured reserve with the back injury after the second game of the 2008 season.

He came back and took part in the Eagles' minicamp in the spring and seemed excited about his move from right guard to right tackle.

But his back injury flared up during a drill on the first day of training camp. He missed all of camp and was placed on injured reserve before the season.

Andrews has spent the past three months in California with Dr. Watkins rehabbing, but to no avail.

"He just hasn't made progress with the rehab," Reid said. "And it's not from lack of effort on his part. He's been very diligent, working hard. From all the reports we get, he's working his tail off, he's just not getting better."

That's why the second surgery became an option. Now, it's another opinion with hopes of getting the back right and his career going.

"We just don't know," Reid, who has kept in touch with Andrews through text messages, said. "Backs are a sensitive thing. There are a million things that can go wrong.

"They wanted to rehab it to see if the stronger he got, the better he got. But it's just not getting any better. For a while there he was doing OK and then he had some setbacks. It just kind of leveled out where his back is still bothering him.

"They went in and Dr. Watkins did some more tests and he wanted another opinion and sent him to Dallas. We'll go from there. If he needs another surgery, he needs another surgery."

The Eagles prepared to move on without Andrews when they signed their right tackle Winston Justice to a long-term contract last Tuesday.

Reid said the two moves are not connected, but if Andrews had not gotten hurt Justice would have never gotten a chance to play.

"I'm not even thinking that far ahead," Reid said when asked about Andrews' future. "I'm thinking Redskins.

"I just want to get him better. We're trying to do everything we can to make sure he gets better. If not for football, then for his life."

Notes: As expected running back Brian Westbrook (concussion), wide receiver Kevin Curtis (knee) and linebacker Akeem Jordan (knee) have been ruled out of Sunday's game. Reid said Jordan could be back next week. ... Cornerback Asante Samuel (neck) returned to practice, and although listed as questionable on the injury report, is expected to play. ... Linebacker Jeremiah Trotter (knee) was held out of Friday's practice, but is also expected to play.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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