Houshmandzadeh, Branch sidelined after surgeries

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh is recuperating from hernia surgery, and former Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch just had his third knee surgery in a little over two years.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Friday there are “always concerns” whenever a knee is operated on for a third time, but that Branch’s arthroscopic surgery last week in Philadelphia was a “very minor” cleanup.

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“There was a little something in there that they could fix up and clean up for the long haul,” Carroll said. “It was really a good decision.”

Branch, 30, shredded his left knee on a snowy field during a January 2008 playoff game at Green Bay. He had reconstructive surgery one month later.

Branch had a follow-up procedure in March 2009, but he downplayed it as a minor clean-out that he said is common following knee reconstruction.

Branch has posted seasons with 53, 49, 30 and 45 catches for the Seahawks since they acquired him from the New England Patriots in 2006 — and then gave him a $39 million contract with $13 million guaranteed.

Carroll said Houshmandzadeh’s injury had bothered him since the end of last season and didn’t improve. He said Houshmandzadeh should be back on the field in a couple of weeks.

Houshmandzadeh had 79 catches in his first season with the Seahawks. The team signed him as a coveted free agent last spring.

Houshmandzadeh is on the sideline tutoring second-round draft pick Golden Tate during this weekend’s mandatory minicamp.

Tate was brilliant at times in Friday’s practice, once leaping and reaching high to snare a deep pass over the middle from QB Matt Hasselbeck.

“They drafted me for a reason,” the Notre Dame star said. “I didn’t come (here) to not play.”