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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

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November 12, 2008 3:52 PM

Doctor doubted Hasselbeck would play again this season

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said he was told by a doctor that he was not likely to play again this season because the problem with his leg.

It wasn't a mandate or a recommendation, Hasselbeck said, just an opinion from Robert Watkins in Los Angeles. That was Watkins' initial opinion after looking at Hasselbeck's test results and evaluating him.

"He said, 'Listen, you probably won't come back this year. You won't need surgery, but you probably won't play,' " Hasselbeck said.

Watkins indicated it would take a couple of months to recover, but he also told Hasselbeck there was a chance he would be back.

Now, Hasselbeck has passed all the strength tests and been cleared to return to practice. He will be evaluated by Stan Herring again on Wednesday night.

"I can't imagine anything they would say negative or I would say negative," Hasselbeck said. "From everything I can tell right now, everything is really good and I hope to play Sunday."

Hasselbeck has played through plenty of injuries in his career. He played two years with a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder, which eventually required surgery. He suffered a sprained knee ligament in 2006 and a broken bone in his non-throwing hand that year as well.

This injury, however, was something different.

"I've played through so much more pain," Hasselbeck said. "I've played with things that are far worse, and you just muscle through it. I think the difference with this, to put it in the words of one of our team doctors, it's just not the kind of thing you muscle through. You just need to rest it and be safe with it.

"I think for that reason, there have been weeks here where I felt like I could play, but it was just one of those things where I couldn't get cleared."

The danger was, if he were to return too soon, he would leave himself vulnerable to reaggravating the injury. The issue was a weakness in his leg, which manifested itself in difficulty completing a test in which he attempted to walk on his heels.

He has since passed that test. As for the possibility of reaggravating the injury?

"I'm not taking a conservative approach here," Hasselbeck said. "I'm definitely pushing the envelope on time frames and it is football. It's a violent game."

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