PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Starting quarterback Donovan McNabb of Philadelphia, who suffered but played on a fractured right ankle last Sunday, has decided to hold of on having the injury surgically repaired.
McNabb, who is expected to miss 6-8 weeks, the normal time for the type of break he suffered to go through the healing and rehabilitation process.
He went to Texas Wednesday for a thorough examination.
"McNabb was examined by Dr. Kevin Varner, a foot and ankle specialist at the Baylor College of Medicine at Methodist Hospital in Houston," the team said Thursday in a statement through McNabb. "At this time, McNabb is back in Philadelphia and is in a cast, and will remain casted until he is reexamined by Dr. Varner in approximately two weeks."
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Thursday that two doctors feel McNabb was lucky, especially because the ankle was not twisted after the break. That would have made surgery inevitable.
"I don't think any significant or undue damage occurred," Dr. John Kelly, who played offensive tackle as an undergraduate at Columbia University, told the paper.
"In most cases, leaving this (injury) alone to heal on its own would be the optimal way to handle this," said Dr. Steven Raikin, Chief of Foot and Ankle Surgery at the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. "There is no question that his youth and physical condition are very much on his side."
McNabb, the NFL's highest-paid player, was injured on the game's first series when he was sacked by Cardinals linebacker LeVar Woods and safety Adrian Wilson. He fumbled on the play and stayed on the turf, clutching his leg.
Despite the injury, he returned to the game with his ankle heavily taped and with a noticeable limp, but gave a courageous effort, completing 20-of-25 passes for 255 yards while matching a career high with four touchdown passes in the Eagles' 38-14 victory.
McNabb initially was diagnosed with a sprained ankle, and that was the information used by Coach Andy Reid, who has been bombarded with questions this week about why he let McNabb continue to play.
McNabb, who did admit he played in pain, finally left the game with less than five minutes remaining.
Losing McNabb, 25, is a devastating blow for the Eagles (7-3), who lead the NFC East by one game over the New York Giants (6-4). He took the Eagles to the NFC championship game last season.
He accounted for 65 percent of his club's offense this season, throwing for 2,289 yards with 17 touchdowns and six interceptions while adding 460 yards rushing and six touchdowns.