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 before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Rookie doesn't think his season is finished

Posted by: under Vikings, Packers, Vikings injury report, Vikings players Updated: December 4, 2010 - 11:15 AM

This has been a difficult season for Chris Cook, but  that doesn't mean the rookie cornerback wants it to be done.

Cook said Friday he is hoping to return a week from Sunday against the New York Giants after sitting out two games because of swelling in his knees. Cook has been declared "out" of this Sunday's game against Buffallo after being shut down in practice on Thursday and Friday.

“I don’t think it’s for the rest of the year," Cook said. "It’s just the past couple of weeks, mainly last week and earlier this week. I was having a few problems with just soreness and a little pain.”

Cook's issues stem from arthroscopic surgeries he had on his knees at different points this season to repair meniscus tears. Cook missed the final exhibition game and the opening two games of the regular season after having a procedure performed on his right knee in late August.

He made his NFL debut in Week 3 against Detroit and played well but injured his left knee. He originally didn't think much of the pain as the Vikings left on their bye week but an MRI showed that he had another meniscus tear.

Cook's current issues are directly related to the injuries.

“It’s nothing new," he said. "It’s from the surgery and pounding on it. I didn’t really have time to rest. I came straight from surgery back to practice. I think that was the main cause of it being irritated, practicing on the turf. ... I can’t do any more damage to it. It’s just scar tissue in there and it swells up sometimes, gets aggravated, not having a piece of my meniscus in there.”

Cook has missed five games now because of the knee problems and hasn't looked to be near the same player he was in training camp. He was benched in both games against the Green Bay Packers. Cook finds himself in a delicate spot because he doesn't want to make excuses for himself and yet there is little question he has been affected by the knee problems.
“I could have played a lot better than I’ve been playing all year," he said. "It will take time to heal up. ... I don’t want to say it’s affected [my play] because I can’t make excuses. I made the decision to tell them that I could go. So there’s no excuses."


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