It's "safe to say" that Jeremy Maclin will be ready to play week one, Eagles head trainer Rick Burkholder told reporters tonight, though he cautioned that his forecast depends on Maclin returning to training without any setbacks.
Maclin will rejoin the Eagles in Philadelphia Friday or Saturday and begin running and lifting under the supervision of team trainers, Burkholder said. If all goes well he can practice in seven to 10 days.
The Eagles still don't seem to know exactly what caused Maclin to lose weight and deal with night sweats, fatigue and other symptoms, but they have ruled out cancer, HIV, Lyme disease and other major illnesses and are confident he can return to football, according to Burkholder.
"We’re confident that the life-threatening stuff is out of the mix. Right now we’re going to look at him as having an inflammatory condition that caused him to have the symptoms and the abnormal blood studies," Burkholder said. Maclin will probably undergo more blood tests. "We’re confident that what he has is not life threatening and he’s able to go back to play football without problems."
Maclin had laparoscopic surgery Aug. 11 to remove at least part, if not all, of one of his lymph nodes, Burkholder said (he was unclear on the call). Maclin told FoxSports that his lymph nodes had been enlarged, prompting the testing for Lymphoma. But the results were negative.
Maclin started feeling ill in late February and early March, but the team didn't find out about it until reading media reports around April, Burkholder said, because of the NFL lockout. The team doctor got involved at that point (such contact was allowed during the lockout) but it was still difficult to diagnose exactly what was wrong. Maclin met with the Eagles doctor as well as physicians in St. Louis, where he grew up and where his father is a urologist. Vacations and other factors slowed down the diagnoses, and the doctors' abilities to rule out the worst possibilities, Burkholder said. The symptoms had stopped by the time Eagles training camp began, Burkholder said, but he couldn't say exactly when they let up, because he was not in contact with Maclin due to the lockout.
"He doesn’t have Lymphoma, he doesn’t have Hodgkins, he doesn’t have cancer, which is the hurdle we wanted to clear," Burkholder said.
Maclin is near his playing weight, Burkholder said.
"We’ll continue to study his blood over time to make sure his numbers come back to normal," Burkholder said.
Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin had his lymph nodes removed due to a virus, but is "totally fine," according to a report from FoxSports' Jay Glazer.
Maclin had been undergoing tests for Lymphoma, a form of cancer, but tests for that, and other ailments, came back negative.
Maclin expects to return to practice after he recovers from last week's procedure, Glazer wrote on Twitter. Maclin had been undergoing tests since May 11, but the last one came back today, according to the report. It's not clear how quickly he can resume practicing with the team.
Maclin told Glazer he is "fine" but "was tested for everything" and it all came back negative. One scan showed enlarged lymph nodes, prompting the tests for Lymphoma. It turned out to be a virus, according to Maclin.
The Eagles have scheduled a conference call with reporters at 7 pm. Maclin wanted the team to keep his health private, and they complied, according to Glazer's report.
General manager Howie Roseman on Tuesday told 97.5 FM that the team expects Maclin to rejoing the team at the NovaCare Complex "shortly." The Eagles resume training at their facility Saturday after Thursday's preseason game.
The team has so far said little about Maclin's health and readiness. The team has downplayed the severity of the ailment that kept Maclin out of training camp. Clearly, though, there was at least some concern that Maclin's illness might have ended up being more serious than the team was letting on.
A team spokesman has not responded to requests for comment on Maclin today.