BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder said defensive tackle Mike Patterson has a brain condition that may require surgery.
Burkholder said Thursday morning that Patterson is undergoing further tests. The 28-year-old Patterson was hospitalized after suffering a seizure Wednesday morning at training camp at Lehigh University.
"In medicine today, there's tons of options," Burkholder said. "Everybody wants to jump right into surgery and I'm not saying for this particular case, I'm saying with everything, but there's so many other avenues out there. It would be foolish to speculate what's going to happen to Mike."
The 6-foot-1, 300-pound Patterson has been diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which is the tangling of blood vessels near the skull.
"We're pretty sure it's what caused the seizure and we're pretty sure it's not football related," Burkholder said. "It just so happened at football practice. It could've happened anywhere."
The trainer said Patterson is on medication to prevent another seizure, and anticipates he'll be released from the hospital Thursday.
It's unknown when or if Patterson will return to the Eagles.
On Wednesday, Patterson dropped to the ground between drills during a morning practice, and the player began violently shaking. He was immediately tended to by Burkholder and his staff, with assistance from rookie Danny Watkins, a trained firefighter, and taken by ambulance to Lehigh Valley Hospital.
"He's antsy to get out of the hospital and get to the next step," Burkholder said. "He's always upbeat and that's the way he is now."
AVMs are malformations or tangles of arteries and veins that alter blood flow. The cause isn't known, but they are usually present at birth. They can form anywhere, but are more common in the brain or spinal cord.
About 300,000 Americans are thought to be affected by AVMs of the brain or spinal cord. Most people don't experience any symptoms, and aren't aware of the malformation until symptoms arise, usually in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Common symptoms are headaches and seizures. The biggest risk is bleeding.
Treatments include medications, surgery or radiation and vary depending on the size and location.
Players around the NFL expressed their concern for Patterson on Twitter.
"Prayers go out 2 Mike Patterson. Great college teammate n even better person!" wrote Green Bay Packers All-Pro linebacker Clay Matthews, who played with Patterson at Southern California.
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