Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Sullivan will return from knee surgery by training camp

Posted by: Mark Craig under Injury report, Vikings, NFC, Adrian Peterson, John Sullivan Updated: February 6, 2013 - 5:37 PM

John Sullivan will sit out the team's June mini-camp because of last week's microfracture surgery on his left knee, but three Vikings team sources said the starting center is expected to be ready when training camp opens in late July.

Sullivan, 27, played every offensive snap during the 2012 season and was listed on the injury report with a knee injury only once, Week 13 against Chicago. But lingering pain in the knee eventually led to Sullivan having the surgery performed last week by renowned sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Florida. Andrews also performed the knee surgery that held up well enough for Adrian Peterson to collect 2,097 yards rushing and one NFL MVP trophy in 2012.

The recovery period is three to four months. And, so far at least, the NFL doesn't play games in June. So even factoring in a four-month recovery, Sullivan should be fine for the start of training camp.

Sullivan played well enough in his fifth season to earn first alternate to the Pro Bowl. Several have argued that he deserved to play in the game because one of the NFC centers who went ahead of him was Green Bay's Jeff Saturday, who actually was benched for poor play late in the season. Sullivan also earned seven first-team All-Pro votes, including the one cast here, to finish third in the Associated Press' All-Pro voting.

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