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Holmgren reveals surgery forced him to miss time

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren disclosed he had surgery for a still-undisclosed medical issue this week, the reason he missed two days of Seattle's final offseason minicamp.

Experience: 16

Reg. season: 157-99

Playoffs: 13-11

"I didn't die, all right?" a smiling Holmgren said without being asked immediately following the team's final minicamp practice Thursday morning. "No, I had a little surgery done on Monday. That's all I'm really going to say about it. I'm not going to go into great detail, but I just need a little time to recover from it and we're all set.

"So that's that."

The team has repeatedly said Holmgren, who turns 60 on Sunday, was away because of a minor medical procedure. Holmgren is beginning his 10th and final season as the Seahawks' coach. He said he will now go to his cabin in Northern California to read, ride his motorcycle and hang out with family before training camp begins July 25.

"Our quote-unquote 'offseason' really doesn't exist any more, really" the coach said. "It used to be different, where you had a little more time to get away from it. It's a very emotional business and it takes a lot out of you. All of us need time now to recharge the batteries and find someplace with a little sun perhaps and come back raring to go."

Holmgren said he still believes leading wide receiver Bobby Engram will be at training camp, despite the 35-year-old saying Sunday that he may not. Engram, who had a career-high 94 catches last season, skipped voluntary minicamps because he wants more than the final year and $1.7 million he has in his contract. If Engram is not in camp when veterans are due to report July 24, the team could begin fining him for each day he's gone.

When asked how real he thought the possibility was that Engram won't be there, Holmgren said: "Well, I guess it's a possibility. I haven't talked to him in a while.

"I've mentioned the fact that I thought he would be at training camp, and I still believe that. Now Bobby wouldn't be the first player who I've coached -- who I like -- who felt he needed to make a statement of some kind involving training camp."

Since Holmgren arrived to coach Seattle before the 1999 season, former receiver Joey Galloway and All-Pro left tackle Walter Jones have held out of training camps because of contract disputes. Jones did it three years in a row -- and remains one of Holmgren's favorites.

"I would hope he wouldn't miss too much time, if he misses at all," Holmgren said of Engram, who arrived in Seattle in 2001.

"Right now, I'm saying the glass is half-full. I'm saying he is going to be there."

Holmgren added that punter Ryan Plackemeier has joined wide receiver Deion Branch as likely to be out for most if not all of training camp. Branch is rehabilitating a surgically reconstructed knee and may not play in the opener Sept. 7 at Buffalo.

Plackemeier had surgery Tuesday for torn right pectoral muscle, an apparent result of weight lifting.

"I believe he can do most of the things a punter can do and we will have him back hopefully for the first game," Holmgren said.

Until then, Reggie Hodges will handling punting and Plackemeier's duties as holder for placekicks. Hodges last appeared in a regular season game in 2005.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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