McCarthy says Favre will have ankle surgery

Packers coach Mike McCarthy, in Florida with his daughter for the Daytona 500, says Brett Favre will have surgery and be ready for the minicamps.

Kevin Harvick's victory wasn't the only big news to come out of the Daytona 500 on Sunday.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy, wearing the hat of No. 17, Wisconsin driver Matt Kenseth, said quarterback Brett Favre will have ankle surgery "in the next couple weeks."

Favre was supposed to have surgery on his left ankle the day after the season ended, but went home to Mississippi instead. That, along with his teary-eyed interview after the season finale at Chicago, fueled speculation that Favre was going to retire.

Favre "absolutely" will be healed in time for the minicamps, McCarthy said. The post-draft minicamp will be held May 4-6 and the second camp will be held May 18-20.

"(Team doctor Pat) McKenzie and Brett, they've been through this whole process," McCarthy told an Associated Press reporter while in the garage area at Daytona International Speedway. "We're going to be fine."

McCarthy said the Packers are focusing on the offseason.

"You'd like to have all your free agents signed before free agency hits," McCarthy said. "That's your goal. (General manager) Ted (Thompson) and I have said that since the season ended, so we're pushing forward with that. Our biggest focus right now is the offseason program, because we have an opportunity to improve as a football team."

The team's optional offseason workout program will begin March 19, and McCarthy is bringing in experts from Athletes' Performance, a Tempe, Ariz., firm, during the first week.

"We're going to do a bunch of body movement testing to educate our players more on their possible deficiencies and different things that can help them," McCarthy said. "So we're always looking to educate, but our focus is on the people that we know are going to be here for sure next year."

McCarthy said he was enjoying a brief time away from football, and saw similarities between racing and his sport.

"There's so much strategic design in everything they do, and trying to push the envelope at every turn," he said. "That's the part that I'm fascinated with."

Lawrence is a regular contributor to Send comments to

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