Mike Patterson Will Play Tonight Against Browns

After going through a battery of tests and speaking with doctors Patterson has been cleared to play football.

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Mike Patterson Fully Cleared And Back At Practice

Less than three weeks ago Mike Patterson collapsed on the practice fields at Lehigh with a seizure. Two days later diagnosed with AVM, which is a tangle of blood vessels near his brain. Today, he’s was back in practice.

Patterson was cleared last week to return to the team to start conditioning work and today was the first time he was allowed to participate in practice. He is not sure however, whether he will play this Thursday. At this point, Patterson says he just has to work on getting his fitness level to where it needs to be, but he’s not far off.

“I’m not too far off. But it’s football so everything takes practice and time and stuff like that. So I just need to be patient and continue to work on the things that I need to work on and listen to the coaching staff.”

Typically starters do not play in the fourth and final preseason game, but Patterson said he’d be happy to do it if Andy Reid felt like he wanted to see him in game action. However, it will be Reid’s decision as to whether that is the case.

Patterson plans to have the AVM treated after the season, meaning he will be playing with it this year. As a congenital issue, it’s not any more or less likely to be an issue for him whether he plays football or not. He says it won’t be a distraction for him.

“No, just because you know it’s two separate things. You just know that they’re just trying to see how you’re doing health-wise and stuff like that and football’s a whole different thing. So it’s easy to focus.”

“That’s the good thing about football, it’s easy to zone everything out and just go out there and play.”

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Eagles' Mike Patterson Diagnosed With Brain AVM

Midway through the morning session of yesterday’s practice at Eagles camp, defensive tackle Mike Patterson collapsed on the field shortly after a drill. According to reports, he experienced a seizure lasting four minutes, during which he bit his tongue, causing bleeding from his mouth. The whole scene shook up the team and Patterson was taken away in an ambulance.

After being taken to the hospital, doctors diagnosed Patterson with AVM or arteriovenous malformation. Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder explained what that means.

“Mike has a congenital tangle of blood vessels right outside his brain,” Burkholder said. “We’re pretty sure that’s what caused the seizure, we’re pretty sure it’s not football related, and now the next course for Mike is that they’ll continue to do testing, possibly some at Lehigh Valley, possibly some in Philadelphia."

Les Bowen of Philly.com spoke with a Princeton neurosurgeon, who also happens to be an Eagles fan at Lehigh this week, who shed a little more light on what AVM is and how it happens.

“It’s congenital, not anything that would have been caused by playing football. Oftentimes what happens is, under certain conditions such as stress, dehydration, trauma, and whatnot, these things can tend to hemorrhage. The good thing is, it doesn’t sound like he had a brain hemorrhage.” (The Eagles said tests yesterday showed no bleeding on the brain.)"

In many ways, that makes it even scarier to know that Patterson has been playing football his whole life with this condition and really could have never even know about it.

Treatments for AVM range from radiation from a “gamma knife,” all the way to removing part of the skull for surgery. The most common treatment is much like the way a doctor would use a stent to open up an artery. Doctors can through a blood vessel elsewhere in the body to get to AVM and treat it. It all really depends on where it is located and how sensitive the area is. The latter treatment would likely not be career threatening for Patterson, but the others certainly could be.

There had been some reports that Patterson would need surgery, but his agent JR Rickert said in a statement that those reports were incorrect. In fact, he says the diagnosis isn’t even official.

Media reports are not accurate. Mike has not yet decided on surgery. He has not received an official diagnosis of a brain AVR and is continuing to be evaluated by multiple doctors. Once we know the course of treatment and timetable for recovery, Mike and his wife Bianca will decide how to proceed.

Obviously it’s a very serious situation either way.

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