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Mike Patterson Reportedly Has Brain Condition, Possibly AVM

Aug 4, 2011, 11:38 AM EDT

Mike Patterson has a brain AVM, a treatable condition that will keep him off the football field for an unknown period of time.

As you no doubt have heard, there was a scary moment at Eagles training camp in Lehigh yesterday, when defensive tackle Mike Patterson fell to the ground and began convulsing. The good news is Patterson, who had suffered a seizure, was okay a short time later. The bad news is the underlying symptom may not have been something as simple as dehydration, as was hoped after the incident.

Though Patterson is awaiting another medical opinion, various outlets are reporting the former first round pick has something called a brain AVM. I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on this blog, so I’ll let Roob’s words take over: “An AVM is basically a tangle of arteries and veins inside the brain that causes blood to travel abnormally from the arteries to the veins without moving through the capillaries.”

The first thing to note right now is it’s too early to say with any certainty what this means for Patt. An AVM is treatable, sometimes without surgery.

One of the more common current treatments for some types of AVMs is a minimally invasive closing of the defect that does not include what is typically referred to as surgery. However, even procedures such as this are often called ‘surgery’ in media reports, despite being considered an alternative to surgery in the medical community.

No matter what the case, it’s certainly better that they found out this way and now. A seizure could have come along at any delicate moment, instead of when he was surrounded by teammates, coaches, and medical personnel. But the condition is serious, and Patterson’s return to the football field will not be immediate, though we cannot speculate on when it will be.

Neither the AVM or the resulting seizure were football related.

Obviously, we have to deliver the requisite “What matters is,” which of course is only that he is healthy. We wish Patterson and his family nothing but the best as he seeks appropriate treatment.

We would be remiss if we did not also point out the football implications though. Patt was expected to start next to free agent addition Cullen Jenkins this season. If he’s not good to go, that spot likely falls on third-year player Antonio Dixon, who filled in capably last season. Dixon replaced Brodrick Bunkley after an injury and started 10 games, never relinquishing the job even once Bunkley returned.

Behind Dixon is Trevor Laws, who showed some progress last season in an increased role. The Eagles also signed Anthony Hargrove from the Saints and Derek Landri from the Jaguars for depth.

Again, we want to emphasize that while there are varying degrees of the condition, in many instances it is very treatable, so we are hopeful we have not seen the last of Patterson in an Eagles uniform.

>> Eagles DT Patterson diagnosed with brain AVM [CSN]
>> More on AVMs [PubMed Health]
>> Eagles can’t stop signing players [PFT]