Bouman Injury Likely to Keep Him Out

This was supposed to be Todd Bouman's chance to shine. After six quarters of great play, Bouman's season is likely done, since his injured thumb isn't healing quickly enough.

When Todd Bouman lit up Pittsburgh in the final 20 minutes of the Vikings loss to the Steelers, it opened eyes.

When he tore up Tennessee and was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week in a lopsided win, it turned heads.

Now Bouman is the latest in a seemingly never-ending list of injured Vikings who have been sidelined, are sidelined or will be sidelined for the season finale Monday night at Baltimore.

While he is still holding out hope to play Monday, Dennis Green all but ruled out the possibility Monday, saying the re-injured thumb hasn't responded nearly as quickly as the initial thumb injury did and that it may take a while to get it back in playing shape.

Green told VU Monday that the damage to the thumb is a ligament problem and that the healing process is going to take time. While initially saying the second injury didn't make the situation any worse, the second thumb injury hasn't responded to treatment in the same way the first one did -- compounding a problem and delaying the healing process.

For his part, Bouman is frustrated and had hoped to make the most of his first chance in four years to show his coaches, teammates and Vikings fans what he was capable of doing. Instead, it looks like Bouman will be on the sidelines watching Spergon Wynn close out what has become a M*A*S*H unit season at Baltimore.

NEW YEAR'S DAY NOTES
* The Vikings didn't practice today, but will likely be without a couple of key players who have more injury problems. Jim Kleinsasser reinjured his ankle sprain and has been ruled out for Monday night. He will be replaced by Harold Morrow. Meanwhile, Michael Bennett sustained a heel injury that will be evaluated Wednesday. It's likely he will be limited at best, opening a spot for Doug Chapman to either start or see extended playing time.
* In the surgery room comes this -- Fearon Wright, who was placed on I.R. for a shoulder injury, had wrist surgery late last week, where a screw was inserted into the wrist he injured during the preseason but never completely healed. It's just the latest in a series of bizarre injury/surgery quandaries that have plagued the Vikings this year. Last month, Mitch Berger was sidelined with a broken bone in his neck and, when he had surgery, it was on his leg.
* In some rare good news, evaluation of Dale Carter's hamstring pull Monday didn't show any increased swelling and there is a chance that he will be able to play Monday.
* Former Vikings assistant coach Tyrone Willingham was named the coach of Notre Dame Monday, ending a strange saga in which the Irish had three coaches in less than a month, firing coach Bob Davie, hiring a replacement only to have him resign in disgrace after lying on his resume, and hiring Willingham.
* All of us at VU.com would like to wish all of you a happy and safe 2002.

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