Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, who met with reporters during a tour of the team’s new practice facility in Eagan on Friday, got the cast removed from his right foot the same day, and said he’s feeling good after surgery to repair the ankle injury he suffered in December.
“It timed out perfectly with when I had my surgery to when we move in here as players,” he said. “I knew I was going to have to have the surgery after the ankle injury. When Dr. [Chris] Coetzee told me he wanted to get it fixed during exit physicals, I told him I had a ski trip and a golf trip planned, and those were priority first in the offseason, and then we could get to my ankle. It was good enough to get through seven games; I was going to make sure that I got to enjoy a little bit of the offseason before I went under the knife.”
Rudolph went skiing in Jackson Hole, Wy., with quarterback Sam Bradford last month, and said the two realized after the first day on the mountain that “we had to be doing it all wrong.
“You see other older people on the mountain, just casually skiing and going all day. We were dead after a run or two,” Rudolph said. “We’re not in ski shape. [Bradford] actually went and took a lesson after I left, just to become a more efficient skier. I’m a leisure skier; to me, it’s leisurely. I don’t want to go very fast, and I certainly don’t want to go anywhere there’s trees and stuff. I’m constantly putting the brakes on, so as you can imagine, my quads are pretty fired up after three days on the mountain. But it was fun.”
Now that he’s back from his ski trip, Rudolph said he’s planning to spend his entire offseason in Minnesota for the first time in his career, electing to train at the team’s new facility.
“For eight years, I’ve gone to Southern California in the wintertime, and I’m choosing to stay here and rehab here and train here all offseason, until we come back in April,” he said. “We already have the great staff — strength staff, training staff — and now they have this incredible building to work in and work with.”
The California weather, of course, will not be present in Eagan.
“Hey, if it’s in the high 20s and sunny, I’ll take that too, right now,” Rudolph said, sounding like someone who’s spent plenty of time in Minnesota.