VU has been told that the team expects Matt Birk to be on the short end of the rehab stint following hip surgery.

When Matt Birk went under the knife to have surgery on his right hip, the initial word VU got was that the recovery time was three to four months.

Since then, a highly placed source with knowledge of the situation who has requested anonymity -- we call him Deep Bruise -- has told VU that the timetable is on the short end of two to three months, not three to four.

According to Deep Bruise, the Vikings fully expect Birk to be back and ready to go by late August -- giving him one to two weeks to get into shape before the season starts.

There has been talk that the Vikings are concerned about pushing the recovery time back, since the injury Birk sustained during the season was attributed to coming back too soon from hernia surgery. Even if Birk's timetable is set for a late August return, that would mean he would still be sidelined close to three months. But, for those concerned that Birk could be sidelined into October, hearing all sides considering an early return has to be seen as promising news.

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