Philadelphia Donovan McNabb tossed touchdown passes on a broken ankle and played an NFC title game despite an agonizing rib injury.
Now, McNabb is taking his biggest health risk yet: playing despite a severe abdominal strain that likely will need surgery and definitely will leave the five-time Pro Bowl quarterback in discomfort and pain all season.
"Fortunately for me, I haven't got to the point where you just can't go," the Eagles' star said. "Once that happens, then I think the best way of handling this is not being out there. But I don't think that would ever happen."
Trainer Rick Burkholder said rest would not fix the problem and McNabb could play if he could handle the pain. McNabb, who practiced Wednesday, does not have to be sidelined now for the sports hernia.
"We're hoping it's something we'll be able to manage," Burkholder said. "The plan with Donovan is to allow him to participate, continue to rehabilitate him and we're going to take it on a day-by-day, game-by-game situation."
McNabb is expected to start Sunday against Kansas City and is willing to play through his various injuries. McNabb also is playing despite soreness in his chest and a shin contusion.
"I'm ready to go," McNabb said Wednesday. "I don't have any concerns right now. ... It's just something you have to deal with and realize some days you'll feel great and some days you won't."
McNabb was tested last week for the sports hernia, but coach Andy Reid called the injury an abdominal strain after the Eagles' victory over Oakland. McNabb went Tuesday to Boston for another opinion, and it was confirmed he had a sports hernia.
"His pain may get worse, it may get better, the condition won't," Burkholder said. "It's not like he's going to do a career-ending problem to his abdomen or his groin."
McNabb hoped to delay surgery. Burkholder said it usually took eight to 12 weeks to recover from that type of surgery.
"If I can avoid it, I definitely will avoid it," McNabb said. "If that's the case that I have to have it, then it will happen."
McNabb didn't know when he first hurt the area. He came into training camp with soreness in his abdomen. He seemed to be fine until the game against San Francisco, when the injury was aggravated.