Favre may need ankle op
Brett Favre may need an ankle operation to start a 20th NFL season, if he decides to return with the Minnesota Vikings.
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 04/05/10 2:00pm
Brett Favre may need an ankle operation to start a 20th NFL season, as he seems keen to give it one more go in the league with the Minnesota Vikings after coming so close to the Super Bowl.
The annual guessing game about Favre's future has become a staple in the NFL of the last few years, with his acrimonious splits from Green Bay, his late slump for the New York Jets followed by his surprise move to Minnesota.
It was almost a storybook ending for the 40-year-old last season as a strong Vikings team made the NFC Championship game, but a Super Bowl appearance was agonisingly lost in overtime against eventual champions New Orleans.
Favre injured his ankle during that game against the Saints, and three months on it is still swollen and giving him some pain, but Favre insists that he has played through far worse during his legendary career.
The future Hall of Fame quarterback issued a statement on his website saying that he may need surgery on the ankle, but insists that will not be the reason behind his latest career decision.
"I don't believe major surgery on the ankle would be required for me to return in 2010," Favre said. "I've consulted with Dr. (James) Andrews on the phone, and a relatively minor procedure could be done to improve the dexterity of the ankle, and to relieve the pain.
"I've put up with pain worse than this in my career, and I didn't want anyone to assume that the possibility of surgery was the sole factor that would determine whether I return or not."
The Favre retirement saga has been an annual installment for four years, and despite saying the contrary, there is something about him that tells you Favre enjoys being in the spotlight.
Unlike with the Jets though, Favre played superbly last season and fully justified the hype with one of his best seasons statistically, as he further increased his lead in virtually every quarterback record in the NFL.
"The ankle pain is a factor, but one of many factors that I'll need to consider in making my decision," said Favre on his latest retirement decision. "Other factors include the input of my family, and the wonderful experience that I had last year with the Vikings."
The Vikings and coach Brad Childress will not be trying to force Favre's arm one way or another, just as they did last year when their patience certainly paid off.
"We were aware of it and in fact spoke about it at the end of the season, and it's just a matter of whether he was going to or not going to address," Childress said.
"We all are familiar with his aversion to surgery. That's no surprise. So it's just something if you want to live with it and whether you want to live with it the whole lifetime or want to fix it now, fix it again later."
Although they are not saying it, Childress and the Vikings do look to be expecting Favre back, as they did not draft a quarterback and passed up on the chance to sign Pro Bowler Donovan McNabb from Philadelphia.