Childress says Harvin 'in a decent place'

Percy Harvin returned to practice on Monday after missing the previous two weeks of work because of a death in the family and migraines. While Harvin didn't talk after practice, head coach Brad Childress gave a brief update.

Percy Harvin is back practicing with the Vikings after a difficult two weeks.

Harvin started training camp with the Vikings, but a series of events led to him missing two weeks of practice.

Harvin injured his ankle on the opening weekend of camp, but practiced through the injury during a night practice. However, he left the team on Aug. 1 after the death of his grandmother and then began a bout of migraine headaches.

For the next 10 days, the Vikings had no real updates on Harvin's condition or the timetable for his return, and late last week they sent him the "five-day letter," which meant he had five days to return to the team or the organization would have the option to place him on a reserve list and end his season. That was never the plan, but the formality of sending the letter allowed the Vikings to place him on the "exempt/left team" list and receive a roster exemption to be able to sign another player if needed.

It turns out that wasn't needed. On Monday, Harvin was back with the team and taking part in practice.

"He's feeling better or he wouldn't be here," Vikings coach Brad Childress said. "Migraine-free, I don't know if you can ever say that."

Harvin didn't talk to the media after practice, but Childress talked with him extensively on Sunday.

"I think he's in a decent place right now," Childress said. "We're going to ease him in to see where he's at. By the end of the week he'll go through our practice. We're not going to attempt to deceive anybody. It should be pretty base plays. We'll just see where he's at by the time we get to the end of the week."

Last year, Harvin earned NFL offensive rookie of the year honors with 60 catches for 790 yards and six touchdowns. The versatile offensive player also added 15 rushes for 135 yards and was selected to the Pro Bowl as a kick returner with a 27.5-yard average on 42 returns.

Harvin's migraine episodes weren't as frequent at the University of Florida, but they started early in his tenure with the Vikings.

Harvin missed the Vikings' mandatory minicamp last year when he became ill in between flights from Florida to Minnesota at the Atlanta airport. He also was excused from the NFL's rookie symposium after the onset of a migraine.

Last year, he missed a number of practices because of the migraines, but it wasn't until Dec. 13 against Cincinnati that he missed a game because of the affliction.

He finished his rookie season playing in all but one game, including the playoffs, but he was he was a question mark most of the week leading up to the NFC Championship Game as the migraines struck again.

Harvin was one of a number of star offensive players that didn't play in the Vikings' preseason opener in St. Louis Saturday. QB Brett Favre hasn't reported to the Vikings yet, WR Sidney Rice is still on the physically-unable-to-perform list with a hip injury and Adrian Peterson was held out while he recovers from a hamstring injury.

"Drip by drip, we're getting this team together, or piece by piece, so it's all good," tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said of Harvin's return.

Rice said teammates have been supportive of Harvin and QB Tarvaris Jackson offered a little insight on the severity of Harvin's migraines.

"I overheard him talking, saying they got pretty bad," Jackson said. "I think he was saying he heard some people that were probably worse off than him, a little worse than his, so I guess that kind of put it in perspective for him."

Tim Yotter is the publisher of 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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