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Lynch has sports hernia surgery

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch had successful sports hernia surgery Wednesday and could return to action in 3-4 weeks, coach Pete Carroll said during his weekly press conference Wednesday.

While Carroll didn’t rule out that Lynch could be done for the season, he said doctors are “very optimistic” that they fixed Lynch’s issues and that he will have a chance to return later in the season.

“The doctor was very optimistic about a quick recovery and that could mean within three or four weeks, something like that, there’s a chance (he returns),” Carroll said.

Carroll said that the surgery was “related” to a sports hernia issue.

Carroll said Lynch will remain on the active roster for now with the hope that he will return.

Asked if Lynch could miss the season Carroll said “you have to say there’s a chance but we don’t expect that to happen.”

But Carroll said the doctors “fixed everything that was wrong and the doctor was very optimistic about his return.”

“The doc got in there and fixed a couple of things and was able to really tack it down real nice and was really fired up that he’s going to get back.”

Cornerback Richard Sherman said he had talked with Lynch and said “he’s in good spirits” and that it’s the first surgery Lynch has had in nine years in the NFL.

The injury means Lynch will definitely be out for Seattle’s next two games, which are two of the three the Seahawks have left against teams that currently have winning records — the 6-4 Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at CenturyLink Field and then a game at the 7-3 Minnesota Vikings a week from Sunday.

Lynch will be replaced by rookie Thomas Rawls, who ranks 14th in the NFL with 604 yards.

Lynch flew on Monday to Philadelphia for the meeting with Dr. William C. Meyers, a noted sports hernia specialist who also performed a recent surgery on Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners. Lynch met with Meyers on Tuesday and surgery was then planned and held this morning.

Lynch has been battling an abdomen injury suffered in practice a week ago Thursday. Lynch played with the injury against Arizona on Nov. 15 but was a late scratch for Sunday’s win over the 49ers.

Carroll on Monday had surgery might be an option but that the meeting was mostly to evaluate Lynch and see where he is.

“That’s a possibility,” Carroll said of surgery. “But that’s not (the reason for the visit) — it’s to go back there for the evaluation to find out what’s next, and there are a couple choices possibly depending on what the doctor feels is necessary. Then we’ll just wait and see what that all means.”

Carroll said then it was almost certain that Lynch will miss Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at CenturyLink Field.

“I don’t know about that now,” Carroll said when asked if Lynch might be able to play Sunday. “It’s legitimately bothering him. He would’ve played (Sunday against the 49ers) if he could have. So I don’t know that. Maybe, that’s why they treat you. They’re going to treat him back there. Maybe the doc’s got something I don’t know that they can help him with.”

Lynch was ruled inactive for Sunday’s 29-13 win over the 49ers after being listed as questionable on Friday. The had anticipated him playing but he was unable to after going through pre-game warmups and the decision then made to have him visit Meyers.

Seattle on Tuesday re-signed veteran Bryce Brown to add depth with Lynch expected out for at least a week.

Lynch had missed just one game as a Seahawk before this season, that coming in 2011 when back spasms held him out against Cleveland. He missed two games earlier this season with a hamstring injury and missed a third on Sunday.

Rawls has started four games this season (including against Chicago when Lynch had issues with a calf early) and has rushed for 100 or more yards in three of those. He leads the NFL with a 6.0 yards per carry average.