We all saw the pictures of Brett Favre‘s bruised ankle after the NFC Title Game. The image was nasty to be sure, but now it turns out, it was even worse than it looked.
According to a report by ESPN’s Ed Werder, the ankle is still giving Favre problems, and if he wants to play in 2010 he will have to undergo surgery.
That opinion comes via Dr. James Andrews, who also advised Favre last off-season when he was coming off a torn biceps tendon.
Without surgery on the bicep, Favre would not have been able to play again. After mulling things over for several weeks, Favre finally decided to have the procedure, and was able to return and have a near-MVP season for the Vikes.
Now he is faced with the exact same type of decision: Undergo surgery and return for one more year, or retire.
In an email to ESPN, Favre indicated what a difficult decision this will be for him:
"To play again, I would need the surgery, as I suspected. This decision would be easy if not for my teammates and the fans and the entire Vikings staff. One year truly felt like 10 — much like Green Bay for many years. That’s what I was missing in my heart I suppose, a sense of belonging."
Many have assumed all along that Favre will be back for 2010, despite the physical battering he took in the last game against the Saints – a battering that included many questionable low hits, including the one that caused the ankle injury.
However, just last week, Favre’s friend Steve Mariucci said that Brett still had not made up his mind. And now we know the precise reason for Favre’s indecision.
If Favre elects not to return, the Vikings would go into the year with Tarvaris Jackson, who recently signed his free agent tender, and Sage Rosenfels who has two years remaining on a three-year contract he signed after being traded to the Vikings last off-season.
The Vikings have also brought in former LSU and Jacksonville State quarterback Ryan Perrilloux for a tryout. Perrilloux was on his way to possible stardom with LSU before being kicked off the team for various offenses. He finally landed in Jacksonville State where he put up good enough numbers to be named an All-American.
Obviously, none of the three men mentioned above bring the leadership, savvy and big-game abililty Favre provides. With Favre at the helm last year, the Vikes went 12-4, roasted the Cowboys in the playoffs and fell just a hair short of defeating the Saints to make the Super Bowl.
Most agree that the Vikes’ fortunes in 2010 depend entirely on Favre’s return. With him they will be contenders again. Without him they look like NFC also-rans, despite the presence of Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson, a top-notch receiver corps and a strong defense.
The Favre-watch, which was already almost an obsessive matter for many Viking fans, has now become charged with even more drama and suspense.