After having brain surgery this offseason, Mike Patterson practiced for the first time Monday and is eyeing a possible return to game action this season. (US Presswire)

Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Mike Patterson has learned many things in the last year, including something he said might be the most important lesson of all -- patience.

“There are some things you just can’t rush,’’ Patterson said. “And this was one of them.”

On Monday, Patterson practiced for the first time all season. It was just a brief workout and there was no live hitting, but it was still a landmark day for the defensive tackle who missed all of training camp, the entire preseason and the first six games of the regular season as he recovered from offseason brain surgery that fixed tangled blood vessels in his head.

Now the Eagles must make a decision. They have three weeks to add Patterson to the 53-man active roster or put him on injured reserve, which means he couldn’t play this season.

Patteson, who has started 99 games since the Eagles drafted him out of Southern Cal with their first-round pick in 2005, said he could be in game-shape in a couple of weeks, but there’s no timetable for his return.

Again, it’s a lesson in patience.

“We’ll see what happens, but I’m confident I’ll be out there at some point this season,’’ he said. “And that’s very important to me because I don’t want to miss the entire year with this. I want to play this season and I want to play well and have an impact on this defense. Today was a big step in that direction.”

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