Vikings middle linebacker and defensive captain E.J. Henderson spoke publicly Tuesday for the first time since suffering a fractured femur in his left leg against Arizona last Dec. 6.
The injury was gruesome and raised questions about whether Henderson will be able to play again. He didn't hesitate when asked that question Tuesday.
"Oh I’m definitely going to play football again," he said. "I really don’t think that’s a question at this point barring some freak occurrence. But I’m definitely going to play football again. It’s just a matterr of will I be back in July or August.”
Henderson made those comments at the Vikings indoor practice facility where he received his team Man of the Year Award. The ceremony came in conjunction with a soccer event hosted by the E.J. Henderson Youth Foundation.
Henderson is a private person and he made it clear several times that he didn't want to elaborate too much on what the injury and rehab process have been like for him. But he did talk briefly about it.
"It’s been pretty tough," he said. "I really don’t want to get into that now but I think you all know it’s been a tough process. But nothing but uphill now. I think the worst is behind me."
Henderson said he's been able to walk without the need of a cane for three weeks now. He said his rehab is on schedule and he expects to be ready by training camp.
"From a break like that you have to start over so basically that’s what we’re doing right now," he said. "We’re trying to build everything back up and be ready to go. ... I’m definitely progressing. Finally walking. I’m on the up-and-up. Everything is going on schedule I should be back by August."
Henderson said he's received a lot of support from the team, his teammates and fans. He said that has allowed him to stay positive throughout his recovery.
"Just looking toward the future," he said. "The positives that are going on. The things that the team did this season. We can build on that."
Asked what message he would send to Vikings fans, Henderson said: "I would say I’m on track. August is the goal to be there at camp."