- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 14, 2002

Washington Redskins defensive tackle Daryl Gardener took a pain-killing injection to quell his back spasms yesterday and should find out in the next day or so whether he can play Monday night against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Gardener was absent from Redskin Park, one day after limping out and declining questions. His status depends on how well his back is after the injection.
The Redskins continued to list Gardener as "probable" on the injury report. Coach Steve Spurrier, after calling Gardener "doubtful" Thursday, said, "The latest I heard is that Daryl thinks he's going to be ready to play."
Gardener elected to have the shot after being evaluated by the Redskins' back specialist and then having several other consultants around the country look at the results, according to those familiar with his treatment. He did not undergo an MRI.
This injection was slightly different from several epidurals Gardener received during the preseason going into the spinal joint rather than the bundle of nerves, said Dr. Gerard Varlotta, a New York-based physician consulting on Gardener's case.
Varlotta wouldn't comment on Gardener's prospects but said, "The hope is that by reducing the inflammation you can take away the pain, and that by taking away the pain you hopefully can get it back to its previous function."
Spasms led to back surgery in 2000 and 2001 for Gardener and absences from three preseason games this summer. Their return Thursday was an ominous sign that Gardener might be saddled with season-long limitations after he played most of the opening win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Meanwhile, running back Stephen Davis (groin) practiced, and Spurrier said he "should be" 100 percent for the Eagles game.

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