(Reuters) - Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch will be sidelined for at least three weeks after having surgery to repair a sports hernia, coach Pete Carroll said on Wednesday.
The five-time Pro Bowl selection had been dealing with an abdominal injury and played through the pain in a 39-32 loss to the Arizona Cardinals two weeks ago but sat out Seattle's 29-13 win over the San Francisco 49ers last week.
Lynch, dubbed "Beast Mode" for his aggressive running style, traveled to Philadelphia on Monday to see a specialist before undergoing surgery.
"He's going to stay back east for a number of days until it's time to come back and we'll see what happens when he returns," Carroll said during a news conference.
"The doctor was very optimistic about a quick recovery and that could mean within three or four weeks, something like that ... we'll see how that works out."
Thomas Rawls, who ran for 209 yards against the 49ers, a record for a Seahawks rookie, will continue in the starting role until Lynch returns.
"The doctor projected that he could get back pretty quickly," Carroll said of Lynch, who also missed 2-1/2 games earlier this season because of a hamstring injury.
"So they fixed everything that was wrong and the doctor was very optimistic about his return."
The Seahawks (5-5), second in the NFC West behind the Arizona Cardinals (8-2), will keep Lynch on their active roster in the hope that he will be able to return before the end of the regular season. The playoffs begin on Jan. 9.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)