It was clear when Daunte Culpepper left the field in the Vikings' loss to the Panthers that his knee injury was serious. It was only after the fact that it was apparent the extent of the severity. On Tuesday, the process of healing began.
Culpepper had surgery Tuesday in Birmingham, Ala., to repair the ACL, MCL and PCL in his right knee. How long the process will be to get him back on the field is another question. The Vikings in a statement seemed confident that he can be back for the start of the 2006 season, while others in the medical field have said that the rehab time for such an injury is nine to 12 months at a minimum and more likely 18 months will be required to get the knee back to a pre-injury condition.
In a prepared statement Tuesday, the team was a bit cryptic in its assessment, saying that Culpepper is "expected to be ready to participate" in training camp. Nowhere does it say that he will play or is expected to play, simply to participate.
In the short statement, which served as the only official word on the surgery -- neither Culpepper, his agent, Mike Tice or the team's medical staff were made available to the media Tuesday -- Tice said Culpepper's drive will be his motivation to return.
"Daunte is the type of person who is going to work extremely hard to get back on the field," Tice said. "He has the heart of a champion. His motivation to be the best will drive him as he works through this. We are going to be supportive of him, just as he supports his teammates. His leadership and strength are going to be an inspiration as we continue working toward our goals as a team for this season."
* It would appear that Moe Williams is gone for the season as well. After suffering chronic knee problems since before the Vikings bye week, Williams had exploratory knee surgery Tuesday and is expected to be placed on injured reserve as early as today.
* Paul Edinger has made a pair of game-winning kicks in two of the Vikings' last three wins, but has made just one of five attempts between 30-39 yards.
Culpepper Begins Rehab Process
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