[Kansas City.com] An air of uncertainty lingers over the health of Priest Holmes, and it may go beyond the Pro Bowl running back missing today’s game with Oakland.
Coach Dick Vermeil said Saturday that Holmes won’t play today, that he’s being evaluated by a well-known spinal specialist, and that Holmes is expected to undergo more tests in coming days.
Holmes went to California late last week to be evaluated by Robert Watkins, a spine surgeon and co-director of the Los Angeles Spine Surgery Institute at St. Vincent Medical Center. His expertise, according to a St. Vincent Web site, ranges from innovative spine surgeries to treatment of sports-related injuries.
Watkins is renowned for treating serious back, neck and spine injuries. His patient list includes Milwaukee Bucks point guard T.J. Ford, who underwent cervical spine surgery in May 2004, and Royals reliever Scott Sullivan. Ford was out for a year before returning to the basketball court this summer; Sullivan missed half the 2004 season and all of 2005 with a lower-back injury and recently filed for free-agency.
Watkins recently treated Giants cornerback William Peterson, who’s out four to six weeks with a lower back injury.
Vermeil downplayed the significance of Holmes seeing Watkins, saying he’s referred his friends and other players to the doctor. Vermeil said defensive tackle John Browning visited Watkins about the back problems he’s played with since 1998.
“If a player wants a second opinion,” Vermeil said, “that’s a good place to send him.”