MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings are hoping they’re getting all of their injuries and rehabilitation out of the way now.
Pro Bowl linebacker Chad Greenway underwent microscopic knee surgery on Wednesday to “clean up” some damage and undrafted rookie linebacker Nathan Williams had surgery to repair an ankle injury, Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier said Wednesday at the team’s annual golf tournament supporting the Vikings’ Children’s Fund at Rush Creek Golf Course.
Frazier said he expects each player who’s been dealing with injuries or rehab to be ready — with the lone exception possibly being receiver Greg Childs — by the time Minnesota opens training camp on July 26 in Mankato, Minn.
“I’m not sure about Greg Childs,” Frazier said. “We’re still wondering and not sure about where he will be at. But I can’t think of anybody right now we’re overly concerned about. We still got to see a little bit more progress out of John Sullivan. He’s making progress, but we want to continue to see that. Other than that, we should pretty much be ready to go with everybody.”
Greenway and Williams should both be ready to compete when training camp begins and will have more than a month to rehab their respective injuries. Cornerback Jacob Lacey had surgery for a dislocated thumb last week and is expected back before training camp, as well.
The Vikings have one more day of organized team activities this week and then the mandatory three-day minicamp next week to conclude the offseason program.
“I think we are an improved group,” Frazier said. “We have a lot of work to get done before we can declare ourselves anything other than an improved football team. But I think based on the work that they put in, we have gotten better over these last eight, nine practices that we’ve had. Hopefully we can finish strong tomorrow.”
Center John Sullivan is still recovering from knee surgery earlier in the offseason.
“You just want to see him continue to gain confidence and not be worried about the surgery, and just move on,” Frazier said of Sullivan. “But he’s making progress from everything that (head athletic trainer) Eric Sugarman tells me, he’s on target. He’s moving in the right direction. We’ve got enough time for him to continue to improve. Hopefully when we get started, he’ll be able to go full-go right away. But he’ll continue his rehab through the rest of this summer.”
Defensive end Jared Allen had shoulder and knee surgeries and has been rehabbing at the team’s facilities and is expected back for training camp, as well. Running back Adrian Peterson, who had sports hernia surgery, has already returned to practice. Rookie linebacker Michael Mauti, drafted in the seventh round after knee surgery, has been working on the side with Sugarman during the team’s practices.
Frazier said Williams previously had an ankle injury while at Ohio State and this week’s surgery was to help alleviate some of the issues he’s still dealing with.
“Just wanted to go back in, same thing, and kind of clean it up,” Frazier said. “He had some ankle problems in college and this was a chance for us to go in and clean that up and do a scope on his ankle, and it sounds like everything went fine.”
Childs is still coming back from tearing the patellar tendon in both of his knees in training camp last year. Childs had suffered a patellar tendon tear in one of his knees in college and he’s been pushing his way through rehab to return.
Tuesday, he was catching passes and running routes at the end of practice, but he hasn’t returned to team drills yet. Childs said earlier this summer he’s running well and he can do most everything that is asked of him. Childs and the team haven’t put a timetable on his return yet, though.
“Nobody has outworked him in his rehab. He’s done a terrific job in that regard,” Frazier said. “Now, he’s having to overcome something that you rarely see in our game, when you do what he did to both knees. But you can’t fault his work ethic. It has been off the charts. So, he’s a guy that everybody is pulling for and we all want to see him come back and play, and play at a high level. He has worked hard, extremely hard.”