Eagles Pro Bowl guard Shawn Andrews will be out from six weeks to the remainder of the season after undergoing back surgery Tuesday in Marina Del Ray Hospital in Southern California to repair a herniated disc.
Trainer Rick Burkholder said Dr. Robert Watkins performed the surgery on Andrews' fourth and fifth lumbars.
"He had good success with the surgery," Burkholder said before today's practice. "He took the fragments out and Shawn's ... recovering now. Dr. Watkins gave us the six weeks to three months category (for recovery). Dr. Watkins believes he got the fragments of the herniated disc out and he didn't have any kind of the narrowing of the spine that can cause a longer term effect."
Watkins is the same surgeon who performed back surgery on offensive tackle Tra Thomas in 2005 and that procedure was obviously a success. Burkholder said Andrews' surgery was similar, but said it's impossible to compare how two different people will recover from a procedure.
Andrews was scheduled to remain at least five days in the hospital.
"He'll start rehabbing today," Burkholder said. "They'll work on two things with him out there: flexibility and core strength."
Burkholder said the herniated disc was first discovered during Andrews' high school career at Fairview Camden in Arkansas, but it was treated with an injection and the symptoms did not resurface until the end of the first half of the Eagles' Sept. 15 loss at Dallas.
Three days later, Andrews had another injection in his back, but it did not provide any relief. After a second injection Sept. 26, Andrews felt better for one day, then the symptoms resurfaced. Andrews first visited Dr. Watkins Oct. 13 and it was decided that the quickest recovery would be surgery.
Max Jean-Gilles will continue to play in place of Andrews at right guard.
Other than Andrews, the Eagles returned from the bye week today as a healthy team as they prepared for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Running back Brian Westbrook, after missing the team's Week 6 game against San Francisco with fractured ribs, said he is ready to play and has little remaining pain. Wide receiver Kevin Curtis is also expected to return after missing the first six games while recovering from surgery to repair a sports hernia.
Eagles coach Andy Reid said that rookie DeSean Jackson and Curtis will be the starters at wide receiver, while Dan Klecko will continue to start at fullback despite Tuesday's signing of Kyle Eckel.