Vikes Concerned About Birk Injury

Coach Mike Tice had a good news, bad news scenario as it pertained to Matt Birk's pelvic injury Tuesday.

Mike Tice and the Vikings medical staff had reason for concern Monday when Matt Birk was sidelined from practice with a pelvic injury. That concern got more intense Tueasday, as Birk was sent back to Minneapolis for more tests and the possibility he won't play in the first two preseason games comes much closer to being reality.

Birk, who has never missed a game since becoming a starter in 2000, had an anti-inflammatory injection Monday, but, a day later, it had done nothing to ease the pain in the joint between his left and right pelvis.

While there was talk of giving Birk another injection, results from Tuesday's test will likely come to the Vikings later today. However, the early buzz among Vikings coaches and medicos is that Birk could well miss up to two or three weeks, which would make him unavailable for either the Cardinals or Falcons game.

The bright side, however, came from Tice, who said he has been assured by the medical staff that Birk's injury won't be long-term and that he will be ready for the season opener vs. the Cowboys.

* As a precaution, the Vikings planned to sign free agent center Billy Conaty today.
* In other injuries, Mike Nattiel (ankle) and Moe Williams (calf) were kept out of practice Tuesday. Both are expected to return later in the week.
* President Bush will be in Mankato today, but at this time, there are still no plans for him to stop by Vikings practice.
* The Vikings signed punter Travis Dorsch Tuesday and released punter Filip Filipovic. The Vikings had planned to draft Dorsch, who can also kickoff, in the 2002 draft, but the Bengals beat them to the punch.

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