Greg Childs isn't putting a timetable on his return to the game that caused three torn patellar tendons in two years, but he is making significant progress since blowing out both knees in a training camp scrimmage last August.
Childs has been working hard ever since the surgery to repair both of his knees, and he is hoping a different procedure in his last surgery helps make his tendons stronger and less susceptible to another recurrence.
"When Dr. (Joel) Boyd went in, he did a great job. He went in and repaired both my knees for me. So basically he did something a little different than I had done the first time, which basically tightens it up and strengthens my knee. So I'm not really worried about it," Childs said.
When Childs tore both his patellar tendons on Aug. 11 while landing awkwardly at Vikings training camp, there was concern he may never play again. It was the second time that had happened to his right knee. He blew out that same tendon in October 2010 while at the University of Arkansas.
He still won't put a timetable on his return, but he is growing more optimistic a return can happen.
"Especially with two of them, I'm doing a lot of things that when I had my first one that I wouldn't even be doing right now. So it's definitely coming back quicker," Childs said. "We've got a great strength staff. Come in here and work, doing my upper body some days, the rest of the days I'm doing my lower, doing leg presses, things like that. Then go in with (athletic trainer Eric Sugarman) and then and do my treatment. I come in early every morning. So really it's seven days a week type thing. Not four. Not five."
The 2012 fourth-round draft choice had finished another of his workout sessions Wednesday, this time in front of reporters as he participated in the second week of the Vikings' offseason conditioning program.
It took less than two months for Childs to start walking after his surgery. Now, less than nine months from the injury that required him to be lifted onto a cart and escorted off the training camp field on a cart, he is doing a host of normal drills for NFL receivers.
He is sprinting, cutting around cones and running routes.
"Slants, post routes, drags – all the routes really," he said. "So I've been doing a lot of cutting, some jumping, some sprinting. All the necessary things I needed to be doing, I'm doing them now."
This whole deal is you're going to have some good days. There are days you come out here and you're feeling great. And then you're going to have other days when you're not feeling so great. So you just keep pushing through those days to get to your better days. Even though it starts getting better and better.
Childs has spent all but about 10 days in Minnesota rehabbing his knees since the surgery.
"I'm always trying to get on the field as soon as I can. But also when I get back everyone down here, including myself, wants to make sure I'm 100 percent. No sense coming back 80, 90 percent," he said. "That's not really going to help the team out. And that's what we're trying to do now. Get me back on the field so I can help the team.
"As of right now, I'm not trying to put no time limit on it."
But when that time comes, he said there will be no holding back.
"I got asked that question as far as like, ‘Are you timid running? Are you timid cutting?' Stuff like that. Nah. I still do my cuts and my runs full speed," he said. "There is no change in the way I run, in the way I play. My routes are still the same. I'm still cutting the same way I cut because it doesn't make sense to go out there and kind of just be cautious about it because you ain't going to be able to play your game right."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
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