Brett Favre has been informed he needs surgery on his left ankle to play in 2010 and is deliberating whether to have the procedure or retire, according a report from ESPN's Ed Werder.
The Vikings quarterback, who is under contract for this year but has yet to decide on whether he will play a 20th season, injured the ankle in the Vikings' loss at New Orleans in the NFC title game in January. He told Werder that the ankle continues to be swollen and painful. This is consistent with what Favre's friend and former quarterback's coach Steve Mariucci said recently on WFAN Radio and the NFL Network.
According to ESPN, Favre sent the results of scans done on his ankle to Dr. James Andrews, who performed the surgery on the partially torn biceps in Favre's throwing shoulder last offseason. Andrews informed Favre that surgery was not unavoidable. Favre did not go into detail with Werder about how long the recovery process might take or what exactly was wrong. Favre has had surgery on the ankle twice before in his career, both times coming when he was with the Green Bay Packers.
In an e-mail to Werder, Favre said this decision will be a tough one. "To play again, I would need the surgery, as I suspected," Favre said. "This decision would be easy if not for my teammates and the fans and the entire Vikings staff. One year truly felt like 10 -- much like Green Bay for many years. That's what I was missing in my heart I suppose, a since of belonging.''
Favre is coming off one of the best years of his career, having passed for 33 touchdowns and 4,202 yards and a career-low seven interceptions in 2009. That came after Favre retired in February 2009 after a season with the New York Jets. Favre spent much of last spring debating whether to have the shoulder surgery and did not make a decision to play until the Vikings had broken training camp in Mankato in late August.
Vikings coach Brad Childress has been in contact with Favre thoughout the offseason and also visited with him at the quarterback's Mississippi home last March. Childress hasn't mentioned Favre's ankle injury but that doesn't come as a surprise given the fact the coach often doesn't reveal injury information about his players.
The Vikings open a three-day rookie camp today and Childress is expected to address the media at some point this afternoon.