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RB Alexander among six Seahawks to undergo surgery

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- The end of the Seattle Seahawks' season
was more painful than originally thought.

The team announced Thursday that Shaun Alexander had surgery
this week to mend the left wrist the 2005 league MVP broke in Week
1. Five teammates also had procedures to repair injuries sustained
during Seattle's run to its fourth consecutive NFC West title.

Defensive end Patrick Kerney and left tackle Walter Jones, both
All-Pro players, plus leading receiver Deion Branch and starting
center Chris Spencer are next up for surgery.

The Seahawks, who lost last weekend in the divisional playoffs
at Green Bay, said that Kerney and Jones will have shoulder
operations next week. Kerney showed no signs of shoulder problems
while finishing second in the NFL with 14½ sacks this season.
Jones, who turns 34 on Saturday, had been selected to play in his
seventh consecutive Pro Bowl next month. He took practice time off
to rest throughout the season and is having his shoulder repaired
for the second consecutive offseason.

Spencer will have shoulder surgery and reconstructive thumb
surgery on Friday. Spencer, who just completed his first full
season as the starter following the retirement of Robbie Tobeck,
practiced the last few weeks of the season without snapping the
ball much to preserve the thumb, but he did not miss a game.

Coach Mike Holmgren said earlier this week that Branch will have
surgery "soon" to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his
left knee. Holmgren estimated Branch will miss at least nine
months, meaning he likely will miss the 2008 season opener.

"While they can come back and play, sometimes it's longer than
that before they're really going the way they can go," Holmgren
said of Branch's injury, sustained away from the ball early in the
loss to the Packers.

Dr. James Andrews will perform the procedure on the former Super
Bowl MVP in Birmingham, Ala.

Alexander wore a cast and heard boos during his least productive
season since he became the lead running back in 2001, but the
Seahawks expect him to be fully healthy for next season.
Alexander's last two seasons have been marred by a broken foot, the
broken wrist and a sprained knee that caused him to miss three
games in November.

"I think hurting his wrist this year really hurt him,"
Holmgren said. "Hearing some noises that usually are reserved for
me, from the stands, may have affected him a little bit. He's
human.

"He's got a couple years where he has gotten nicked up a little
bit for the first time in his life. There's no reason to think he
can't come back and be a very productive back next year."

Andrews performed arthroscopic knee surgery this week on backup
offensive lineman Ray Willis. Also having procedures this week, all
in Seattle: special-teams player Josh Scobey (broken left fibula),
reserve offensive lineman Floyd Womack (right biceps), defensive
lineman Baraka Atkins (left wrist) and linebacker Will Herring
(arthroscopic surgery on his right knee).