Ponder avoids surgery after scary moments

Christian Ponder ended up in the emergency room when a deep contusion reappeared after being gone for a few weeks following the regular season. He feared it could be a blood clot. The ER doctor was considering surgery and feared compartment syndrome. Eventually patience paid off and surgery was averted.

The triceps injury that kept Christian Ponder from playing in the Minnesota Vikings' playoff game against the Green Bay Packers provided one more scare for him this offseason.

A couple weeks after the season ended, Ponder ended up in the emergency room fearing surgery for a blood clot might be a possibility when the arm flared up again.

"The injury came back randomly. The whole arm swelled up and I actually had to go to the ER and get that taken care of. It was a little scary with (concerns) about a blood clot. But it ended up being fine. The bruise came back. About two weeks after that, all the effects went away. Since then, I've been working out probably two months and it's been fine."

Ponder has been back in Minnesota for the last two weeks for the start of the team's offseason conditioning program and throwing with his receivers after conditioning workouts.

The scare he had in January is now in the past and no surgery was needed. But getting to that conclusion did bring its share of concern, especially after hearing from the doctor that saw him in the emergency room.

"She thought it was compartment syndrome. It was a little scary," Ponder said. "Luckily, (Vikings athletic trainer Eric Sugarman) called at the right moment and talked to the doctor and said don't do anything crazy. Just go get an MRI to make sure. And it ended up being fine. They were scaring me with what they wanted to do."

According to to WebMD, compartment syndrome "occurs when excessive pressure builds up inside an enclosed space in the body. Compartment syndrome usually results from bleeding or swelling after an injury. The dangerously high pressure in compartment syndrome impedes the flow of blood to and from the affected tissues. It can be an emergency, requiring surgery to prevent permanent injury."

Ponder said the ER doctor wanted to get him into surgery, but the MRI just showed that the contusion he suffered in the regular-season finale had returned and it was nothing more serious than that.

"It was just weird. All of a sudden, the whole thing got rock hard and swelled up. I was scared to death that it was a blood clot, so I went to the ER," he said. "They said it was fine. Just to ice it down or whatever and it would work itself out."

Ponder said watching his team lose at Green Bay in the playoff game was hard, but once the Super Bowl was over he has moved past last season.

"It was time to get back to work, start focusing and move on," he said.

He is now back in Minnesota and getting to know his new veteran receiver, Greg Jennings, who signed a five-year, $45 million contract with the Vikings after seven seasons in Green Bay.

This weekend the rookies come to Minnesota for the rookie minicamp, and eventually Ponder will have more of a chance to throw with first-round draft pick Cordarrelle Patterson.

For now, he is just working with the veterans for four or five days a week.

"We'll go through four or five routes a day. It's a great time for us to get on the same page and be communicative on how we want a slant versus man to be run or how they should be coming out of a comeback route at the top of their route," he said. "Just a lot of communication and teaching going on."

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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