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Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Jeremy Maclin: I'm 'ready' for Week 1

ESPN.com news services

Philadelphia Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin, who hasn't practiced until Sunday due to a cancer scare, told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio on Tuesday that he will start the team's Week 1 game against the St. Louis Rams.

"I feel fine. I feel ready," Maclin said.

Maclin practiced for the first time on Sunday after being cleared to return to the team earlier this month. Trainer Rick Burkholder had said earlier this month that he expected Maclin to be able to play in the Sept. 11 opener.

"I feel all right conditioning-wise," Maclin told reporters Sunday. "It's just getting back out there and running routes, I haven't done that in a while, so there's definitely some work I need to do, but I think I'll get back to my normal self pretty soon."

Maclin began experiencing symptoms -- night sweats, fever, loss of weight, loss of appetite -- in March, synonymous with lymphoma, a form of cancer. But a five-month battery of tests taken in both Philadelphia and St. Louis came back inconclusive, and not until Aug. 17 was Maclin finally cleared of all serious conditions.

Maclin was tested for HIV and numerous other diseases and underwent several tests, including scans. He also consulted with a hematologist, an oncologist and an infectious disease specialist, among others.

Burkholder said earlier this month that Maclin's symptoms disappeared at some point before late July. He said the cause of the symptoms remains "vague."

"We're confident that the life-threatening stuff is out of the mix," Burkholder said. "Right now, we're going to look at him as having an inflammatory condition that caused him to have the symptoms and the abnormal blood studies."

Maclin underwent a laparoscopy procedure earlier this month so doctors could get a clearer biopsy than previous tests had provided. The results came back Aug. 17 and were negative.

Burkholder said he and team physician Gary Dorshimer, who treated Maclin, are confident the symptoms will not return.

"We'll continue to test him, just like we test any player that's had any condition," Burkholder said. "If a player has high blood pressure, we continue to test him for high blood pressure."

Maclin, 23, caught 70 passes for 964 yards and 10 touchdowns last year.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.