Kluwe Comeback On Track

Vikings punter Chris Kluwe isn't kicking yet in practices, but he is making progress in his comeback from surgery in January to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Find out how he's doing and his timeline, along with who else hasn't been practicing and other notes from Wednesday's practice.

Vikings punter Chris Kluwe continues to progress from offseason knee surgery.

Kluwe suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament on Dec. 4, 2005, missed one game and was said to have a sprained knee. In January, it was revealed that Kluwe really had a torn ACL, and he had surgery to repair that on Jan. 31.

Special teams coach Paul Ferrero said earlier this spring that Kluwe's injury would require an eight- to nine-month recovery period, and the second-year player appears to be on pace.

"I'm not concerned right now from the standpoint that his rehab has progressed. You have to kind of go with that protocol," head coach Brad Childress said Wednesday following a practice open to the media. "He's been diligent about that. Obviously he's a proven commodity kicking the football. "

Kluwe did have an outstanding year as a rookie after being place on waivers by Seattle before the regular-season opener and subsequently claimed by the Vikings. He averaged 44.1 yards per punt, the second-best gross average in the NFC behind Tampa Bay's Josh Bidwell, and a 35.8-yard net.

But the fact that the injury occurred to Kluwe's kicking leg is of some concern.

"There's not a lot of data on how guys come back from ACLs on kicking legs, so we'll just have to see. In a perfect world, he comes back and he's stronger than ever," Childress said. "Sometimes those guys come back from rehabbing that leg so hard. We'll just have to see. I don't have a great deal of concern, no."

Kluwe didn't seem overly concerned either. He said the ACL just needs time to heal and there is no reason to think he won't be ready for the start of training camp on July 30. He's even hoping to start kicking in a few weeks.

For now, he continues to wear a brace and stay away from kicking, but his surgeon told him that he might still be able to extend his knee 5 degrees past parallel, which is the normal range of hyperextension, Kluwe said.

For insurance and practice purposes, the Vikings signed rookie John Torp earlier this year and he has been handling the special teams punting duties in practices thus far.


Wide receiver Troy Williamson and safety Tank Williams were among the veterans sitting out of practice on Wednesday. Williamson is still recovering from surgery to heal an abscess on his hip that formed as a result of complications from being burned in a fire as a child. Williamson has a doctor's appointment on Thursday and there was a possibility he could be cleared to practice next week, the last of the Vikings' organized team activities until training camp.

Williams and wide receiver Jimmy Redmond were limited Wednesday with strained hamstrings.

Wide receiver Koren Robinson was absent, excused to attend to the surgery of his child.

"All in all, I think as this thing winds down, the guys have done a great job. We've had almost 100 percent participation. Guys have missed for various and sundries reasons, but we've been able to cover a lot of stuff, a lot of different situations," Childress said. "We've still got a couple of things to do next week in our last mini-camp. I'm very pleased with not only the participation but the competition. It's real easy to kind of slop through this thing and kind of set your eyes on the horizon until training camp, but these guys are getting with it and I think it will pay some dividends for them."


  • The Vikings will have two-a-day practices next week Monday through Wednesday before taking a break in preparation for training camp.

  • Newly signed wide receiver Kevin Kasper will wear jersey No. 1 and WR Josh Davis will wear No. 2. Each of them was signed Tuesday.

  • Wide receiver Aaron Hosack was getting more time with the first-team offense with Redmond and Williamson sidelined and Koren Robinson absent. Hosack, back from his successful season in NFL Europe, is wearing No. 13 (and long hair).

  • Safety Willie Offord continues to wear a knee brace. Without Tank Williams in practice, Offord spent most of the time alongside Darren Sharper in the first-team defense, although Will Hunter also received some reps.

  • Kasper got a look as a kick returner, along with WR Ryan Hoag and RB Mewelde Moore.

  • CB R.J. Cobbs intercepted a Tarvaris Jackson pass intended for WR Billy McMullen on a deep slant. McMullen was also used with the first-team offense with Koren Robinson and Williamson not available.

  • CB Ronyell Whitaker, who tied for second in interceptions in NFL Europe, also intercepted a Jackson pass.

  • CB Fred Smoot dropped a potential interception when he jumped a route on a pass thrown by Brad Johnson.

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