How Fast Is Culpepper Progressing?

Daunte Culpepper wants to play Sunday after suffering multiple fractures in his back two days ago. Here's the latest optimistic news from Winter Park Tuesday morning.

Daunte Culpepper intends to hold true to his word and play Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. Despite being diagnosed with three transverse process fractures in his back, Culpepper has shown significant improvement, just one day after suffering the injury on Sunday.

Speaking with a member of the Vikings Tuesday morning, we have learned that the quarterback has shown improved mobility and a reduction in pain and swelling in the lower back region, though Culpepper is far from ready to be declared ‘game-ready' by the medical staff.

"Daunte is resting his back, being medicated, and receiving therapy to the muscular mass associated with his lower back. In this type of injury, an athlete loses or has a loss of feeling and/or control of the lower extremities. This was a problem that he was suffering with following the game," the staff member said. "Late Monday, Daunte started showing improvement, especially in the range of motion and ability to move and in raising his left leg."

With the progress that Culpepper has shown only 36 hours after an injury that almost certainly would be expected to sideline the league's highest rated quarterback, the Vikings must be optimistic heading into a Week 4 showdown against the San Francisco 49ers.

"We're cautiously optimistic that he (Culpepper) can play on Sunday. Right now, we are expecting Gus Frerotte will be the starter and preparing for as such," the staff member continued. "If Culpepper can practice later in the week and show he is physically able and prepared with minimal limitations, we may look for him to play.

"Simply, we have an entire season ahead of us. We may be best served to hold him back this week and let him heal."

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