Westbrook to have minor procedure

Updated: June 4, 2009, 12:08 PM ET
By Sal Paolantonio and John Clayton | ESPN.com

Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook will have surgery Friday to clean up some bone spurs in his right ankle, according to his agent, Todd France.


Dr. Mark Meyerson will perform the operation in Baltimore. The Eagles called the procedure "a debridement" of the ankle.

France had no timetable for Westbrook's return but characterized the procedure as minor. Another source, however, said the surgery could sideline Westbrook well into training camp. Eagles veterans report to training camp on July 29.

"We talked about it when he was at the doctor's office and went through the options and decided it was better to clean it up," France told ESPN. "The ankle has been bothering him since last year."

The Eagles sent Westbrook to Baltimore on Wednesday to see Myerson, the ankle specialist who treated Terrell Owens five years ago.

According to sources, Myerson recommended several options, including surgery and playing through the pain with a series of cortisone shots. France said that if this were the regular season, Westbrook probably would not have surgery.

Westbrook aggravated a previous sprain in his right ankle while working out in the past few weeks, a team source said. It is the same ankle that Westbrook injured last year and bothered him throughout the 2008 season.

"It has nothing to do with the high ankle sprain," France said. "It's just some bone spurs."

Westbrook, who will turn 30 in September, also had surgery to repair cartilage damage in his left knee in February.

Westbrook had 936 yards rushing last season, caught 54 passes for 402 yards and had a career-best 14 touchdowns.

The Eagles drafted running back LeSean McCoy in the second round to provide insurance for the injury-prone Westbrook.

Sal Paolantonio is ESPN's bureau reporter based in Philadelphia. John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Sal Paolantonio

SportsCenter correspondent / NFL reporter
Sal Paolantonio joined ESPN as a SportsCenter correspondent in August 1995, primarily reporting on the NFL. Beginning in 2004, he also served as host of NFL Match-Up, a weekly "Xs and Os" football show produced by NFL Films.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer