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.

Henderson has surgery on leg

Posted by: under Vikings, Brad Childress, Vikings defense, Vikings players, Ben Leber, Brad Childress, E.J. Henderson Updated: December 7, 2009 - 3:47 PM

Vikings coach Brad Childress said middle linebacker E.J. Henderson had successful surgery on his left leg after suffering a fractured femur in the fourth quarter of Sunday night's 30-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Childress said Henderson spent the night in an intensive care unit at a Phoenix-area hospital and is expected to return to the Twin Cities later this week.

Childress said it's too early to know the long-term prognosis for Henderson.

"He's a spartan so wish him the best in his rehab and his care," Childress said.

Henderson suffered the injury when he was hit by rookie safety Jamarca Sanford while trying to tackle Tim Hightower. Henderson's teammates were clearly upset and sad in the locker room after the game, but Childress said he thinks his team will respond appropriately to losing its defensive captain and emotional leader.

"He's a great rallying force," Childress said. "He's a good football player, he's a good leader, a quiet leader. But you get past that. You may not replace him physically. But you get past that. You have to get past it because we have a quarter of the regular season left."

Childress said rookie Jasper Brinkley will likely take over as the starter with Ben Leber playing in the middle in nickel situations. Childress said the team also is looking at free agents but not necessarily just linebackers. He said a decision on whether to sign a free agent could come later this week.



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