PHILADELPHIA (Dec. 1, 2005) -- The doctor who performed season-ending surgery for a sports hernia on Donovan McNabb said the Eagles quarterback should "take it easy," before returning to the field.
Dr. William Meyers, who operated Nov. 28 at Hahnemann University Hospital, said McNabb had multiple tears and needed surgery immediately. Normal recovery time is eight to 10 weeks, though McNabb has been placed on injured reserve and won't play again this year.
McNabb had played through several injuries and hoped to delay surgery for the sports hernia until after the season.
"It was at the point of the season where he was having more damage there and I said, 'That's enough. You've got to have surgery,"' Meyers said.
Citing patient confidentially, Meyers did not get into too may specifics of McNabb's injury, the surgery or recovery. He did not think McNabb would have returned this season even if he had the surgery earlier in the year.
"He had a tough injury," Meyers said. "For him to get right back would have been tricky."
McNabb clearly wasn't the same quarterback who led the Eagles to the NFC championship game the last four years and went to five straight Pro Bowls. He threw a costly interception in the fourth quarter in each of his last three games, and had nine picks in nine games this season.
McNabb re-injured his groin while trying to tackle Cowboys safety Roy Williams following an interception in a Nov. 14 game. Williams returned it 46 yards for a touchdown with 2:43 left to lead Dallas to a 21-20 comeback victory over the Eagles.
Meyers does not want McNabb to rush his rehabilitation, though he declined to put a timetable on when exactly the star QB should return. McNabb traditionally holds offseason workouts in Arizona with some of his teammates and the Eagles have minicamps in the spring.
McNabb is walking around, though returning for a minicamp seems a longshot.
"I want him to take it easy for a while," Meyers said. "I don't want him on the sideline where he's going to be in some danger of getting knocked off his feet."
McNabb came into training camp with soreness in his abdomen. He seemed to be fine until the second game against San Francisco, when the injury was aggravated and it only got worse from there.
Meyers has performed more than 3,300 operations for sports hernias, and has treated pro athletes ranging from McNabb to Cubs infielder Nomar Garciaparra.
Diagnosis sometimes can be tricky because, unlike more common hernias, there is not always a visible bulge in the leg or groin area.
Meyers said there is about a 95 percent success rate and that McNabb's overall condition should help his recovery.
"He wants to get out there tomorrow and play again," Meyers said.