Favre throwing at high school again

The progression for Brett Favre to return for a 20th NFL season continues. Offseason surgery? Check. Training camp in sight (for everyone else)? Check. Start throwing with local high school team? Check.

History is clearly repeating itself.

While Brett Favre still isn't talking, we're seeing a familiar refrain – high school kids from Hattiesburg, Miss., getting their fingers bent backward by the rifle shots of a Hall of Famer.

Favre made an appearance Thursday morning at Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg. Oak Grove head football coach Nevil Barr told the Star Tribune that Favre has been throwing at the high school since shortly after his ankle surgery last month.

"His arm is great like always," Barr told the Star Tribune. "As far as how his ankle is, I haven't heard him say anything about it. We don't ask him a whole lot on that."

Showing up to work out with the kids at Oak Grove has become something of a habit when the question of Favre's retirement is in question. He first made headlines that were more of a Packers-themed story in 2008 when he was working with the Oak Grove team. The Packers had expected that Favre's retirement was solid before training camp was ready to open. Favre showed up at the high school and started chucking the pill around, letting it be known that the Packers were more running him out of town than him really wanting to quit playing. The furor that ensued led to Favre being traded to the Jets with a poison pill in the deal that precluded New York from trading him to the Vikings.

After having biceps tendon surgery last summer, Favre returned to Oak Grove and tested out his recovery from the surgery. While he didn't agree to return at the start of training camp (brilliant!), it was a sign that he was working out, getting into game shape and ready to give it one more run.

His appearance at the high school Thursday can only be viewed as the first step in his preparation for a return to a 20th NFL season. Maybe it was just coincidence, but, as VU has posed before in terms of having surgeries while "undecided" about returning, the question is why? Why would he have ankle surgery that wouldn't be needed for a civilian? Why would he be hanging out doing the kind of workouts he would get at minicamp?

Our unwavering answer last year was that he would come to the Vikings and make the worst nightmare of Packers fans come true. Thursday's arrival, like an opening-round checklist that has a couple of key check marks already completed, gives yet another clue that Favre's return is coming closer to reality.

He still might change his mind, but it would seem that nobody is buying it anymore.

John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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