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.


Interest in veteran guard remains

Posted by: under Vikings, Vikings offense Updated: May 18, 2010 - 6:15 PM

A hat tip to Viking Update's Tim Yotter for spotting this item.

We recently cited a report that the Vikings were among the teams that had expressed interest in free-agent guard Chester Pitts. The issue was that Pitts, a longtime member of the Houston Texans, has been rehabbing from microfracture surgery on his right knee that was done after he was injured early last season.

Well, it sounds as if Pitts is making progress. He told Sirius NFL Radio last weekend that he has set a workout date for July 15 and that there are five teams in the mix to potentially sign him. The Vikings are in that group.

“I originally took three trips – Detroit, San Fran and Seattle – and they’re all actually still in the mix, and then Philly and Minnesota actually called last week and said, ‘If you’re ready on the 15th, we’re going to work you out and we have a place for you,’” Pitts told Sirius. “For me, I’m 85 percent, I’m pushing at 90 but I don’t like to say I’m at 90 because I’m not quite there yet. But I’ll be 100 percent [in] probably six weeks. So I have about a two-week cushion to get it as healthy and get as strong as I can get it."

Pitts, who will turn 31 on June 26 and spent his first eight seasons with the Texans, most recently played left guard in Houston but most likely would be moved to the right side in Minnesota and could battle Anthony Herrera for that job. Even as a backup, Pitts would provide veteran leadership and potential flexibility that was lost when Artis Hicks signed with Washington as a free agent.

The issue is that microfracture surgery is a tricky process and there are no guarantees that Pitts will be able to find his previous form. Pitts told Sirius he is optimistic about his situation because he stayed off the knee completely for a lengthy period of time.

“Have you ever heard anybody say I wish I had an ACL, because I’d trade an ACL for what I had any day of the week?" Pitts said. "I actually had a guy roll into my knee, he rolled into my knee and right at that moment I had all my weight on my knee. … Basically the knee rolled in the wrong direction and bones crashed into each other and I actually broke off the ends of both of the bones when they banged."

Continued Pitts: “I had to do the microfracture to fix it and then the biggest deal with microfracture is you have to actually get off the leg. When I say get off the leg, you’ve got to get-off-the-leg-like-when-you-were-in-mom’s-womb get off the leg. I had to go two full months without being able to put my leg on the ground. Because I did that, it completely healed and now I just have to get strong again. Anybody knows without putting your leg on the ground you're going to have some serious atrophy. But I'm coming back and I'm getting stronger every day."

   

 

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