Hasselbeck had injection, but says back is fine

RENTON, Wash. -- Matt Hasselbeck has a bulging disk in his back.

So what? The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback and his coach say 85 percent of you do, too -- and you'd know it if you had an MRI on your back.

Just as he did following a dreadful season-opening loss at Buffalo on Sunday, Hasselbeck on Monday downplayed a report from Sunday that he has a bulging disk in his back.

Hasselbeck missed all but the first two series of the preseason with what he has called back spasms sustained in "an incident" in practice before his brief appearance in the first exhibition game Aug. 8 at Minnesota. He returned to practice last week.

He said he's pain free there now. Doctors told him the bulging disk is probably an old injury that showed up on a recent MRI to detect his training camp pain.

"Sort of old news to me. My back does not bother me one bit. I'm not sore in any way," said Hasselbeck, one day after he was 17-for-41 with a touchdown and interception in a 34-10 loss to the Bills. "I don't even receive treatment on it any more. So to me, it's kind of a non-thing.

"Today, as an example, I usually come in and ice my injuries. The only (thing) I iced was my throwing arm, just standard procedure."

After Sunday's loss, the second worst margin of defeat in Seattle's 33 openers, coach Mike Holmgren said Hasselbeck received some "medicine to kind of make it better" last month.

That apparently was an injection of cortisone, a common treatment for inflammations, since Hasselbeck said it wasn't a painkilling one so he could play.

"I think coach Holmgren said there was an injection. There was. It was a long time ago, when I was sitting out, doing nothing, watching training camp," Hasselbeck said. "That's pretty much why I was sitting out. That, again, was not even necessary. That was more of a, 'Let's be sure that he's ready to go in Buffalo.' And in looking back, I kind of wish I wasn't ready to go for Buffalo."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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