By Annie Ross

Jason Kelce knows that his core muscle injury is not going to get worse.

Thanks God for small favors.

The Eagles’ center was injured in the Washington game on Sept. 21, and had surgery to repair the damage immediately.

So, yesterday he practiced for the third straight day and is feeling upbeat.

”I’m not ready to say anything definite yet,” Kelce said. ”I’m feeling better, I’ll say that. I think we’re at the point where it’s not going to get worse by playing.”

A sports hernia, which is really not a hernia, is different than many other football-related injuries, with some unknowns when trying to recover, Kelce said.

”There’s a pain I’m not really used to,” Kelce said. ”It’s the type of injury that no matter how hard you work it in the weight room and the training room and everything, there’s just certain things in football that put abnormal stresses on your body and are going to tweak it a little bit.”

Kelce started all 16 games as a rookie in 2011 and all 16 games last year. He missed 14 games in 2012 with a torn ligament in one of his knees. He was a starter this year before hurting himself in the third game against the Washington Redskins.

He’s missed the past four games and the Eagles are 2-2 without him.

David Molk, an undrafted free agent signed by San Diego in 2012 and who sat out all of 2013, has filled in for Kelce at center.

”It takes a little bit of time to work back in there,” Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said of Kelce coming back. ”You’re certainly working on the things you need to do individually and then getting back working in a group. But they’re pros, they’re veterans, they understand how to deal with injuries and coming back from injuries. So it could be a shorter period of time than it could be for some.”

The original estimate for Kelce’s return was the Carolina Panthersgame on Nov. 10. If he does make it back this Sunday, he would be a week ahead of schedule.

”I can’t say I’m going to be out there and be 100 percent healthy and not have any issues on Sunday,” Kelce said. ”Because there could be a drastic instance where I’m completely off balance and I try to catch myself. It’s probably going to be an ongoing thing.”

Eagles coach Chip Kelly said he will wait until the week ends before making his decision on Kelce.

”He’s looked good the last couple of days,” Kelly said. ”We’ll see as we get extended through the week. And then we’ll make a decision on Saturday with him.”


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