Curtis out with sports hernia

Eagles wide receiver Kevin Curtis will have sports hernia surgery and be sidelined for a significant amount of time. (Steven M. Falk/Daily News)

The term sports hernia has not been good to the Eagles in the past and now another of their top offensive players must deal with this debilitating injury.

Kevin Curtis will undergo surgery for a sports hernia tomorrow and coach Andy Reid said his leading receiver from a year ago "will be out for a while."

Reid said Curtis suffered the injury during the Eagles' preseason game against the Carolina Panthers and tried to practice with it earlier in the week, but the pain became unbearable and he did not participate in today's practice.

Veterans Greg Lewis and Hank Baskett will split time in place of Curtis at the left wide receiver spot while rookie DeSean Jackson will start on the right side in place of Reggie Brown when the Eagles face the AFC champion New England Patriots Friday night at Gillette Stadium. Brown is sidelined by a strained right hamstring he suffered against the Panthers.

Reid said he doesn't anticipate bringing in another receiver right now and that he expects Brown to be ready in time for the Eagles' Sept. 7 season opener against the St. Louis Rams. The coach said he doesn't know how extensive Curtis' surgery will be.

"On those things, they have to go in and see," Reid said. "That's why I don't know what the time table is going to be. We're trying to get on it early."

Curtis led the Eagles with 77 receptions for 1,110 yards last season and Brown was second on the team with 61 catches for 780 yards, so it's obvious the receiving situation is a concern with the regular season approaching.

"We'll be fine there," the coach said matter of factly. "It won't be a threat to what we do. Other guys will have to step up for the time (Curtis) is out."

The Eagles' recent history of problems with the sports hernia injury is well documented. Quarterback Donovan McNabb tried to play through the 2005 season with the injury, but in the Eagles' ninth game he suffered a complete tear of the abdominal region and needed surgery. The Eagles finished 6-10 and at the bottom of the NFC East that season.

A year ago, tight end L.J. Smith had surgery in the spring to repair a sports hernia injury and he had the least productive season of his career with just 22 catches for 236 yards and one touchdown. The Eagles again finished last with an 8-8 record.