ESPN reported the following today:
Brett Favre has been informed he requires surgery on his left ankle to play the upcoming season for the Minnesota Vikings, and the quarterback is deliberating whether to have the procedure or simply to end his 19-year NFL career by retiring.
Favre, who would turn 41 during the 2010 season, told ESPN the ankle injury that he suffered three months ago in the NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints continues to be swollen and painful.
That prompted tests to determine why healing had not occurred, and Favre sent the results of those scans to orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who told the quarterback his opinion that surgery is unavoidable.
"We have spoken,'' Favre said in an e-mail. "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.''
Favre said he must determine whether his affection for the Vikings and his belief they are capable of winning the Super Bowl overrides his disdain for surgery.
Favre would not reveal the exact diagnosis or the prognosis on how long it would take to recover from the surgery.
While it previously seemed Favre was almost certain to return to the Vikings, his comments Friday reveal a player who appears to be seriously conflicted.
However, once this story broke and the talking heads began jumping to conclusions about Favre's future ( as evidenced by the final paragraph of the story above) Brett felt compelled to release more info via his website. He stated the following:
I want to add to the information provided in the article that was published this morning on ESPN's website. Given the reaction to the article, and the typical conclusion jumping, I thought I'd clarify a few things. While my ankle has been bothering me, the injury is not debilitating. For example, I'm able to work around my property without any problems. Sure -- certain exercises cause some ankle pain, but it's nothing that I haven't experienced (or played with) before. In fact, many people don't realize that I injured my ankle before the NFC Championship game. I've had surgery on this ankle twice before and I've played with the pain before. The hits I took throughout the 2009 season, including the Saints game, just added to the ankle pain and likely caused some bone spurs.
I don't believe major surgery on the ankle would be required for me to return in 2010. I've consulted with Dr. 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. Some people reacting to the ESPN story have made this assumption. I don't blame them for doing so, given that the term "surgery" often covers a variety of procedures, some more complex than others.
The ankle pain is a factor, but one of many factors that I'll need to consider in making my decision. Other factors include the input of my family, and the wonderful experience that I had last year with the Vikings.