Now that Brett Favre has decided to return to the NFL for a 20th season, the question becomes what to make of his ankle. He had offseason surgery and many took that as a sign that he'd be returning. That wasn't necessarily the case at the time, he says, and his health, particularly his ankle, is certainly a question mark moving forward.
That's a major question and one only I can answer. I can't promise I'll make it through the season. I couldn't promise that at age 21. People will say, 'Oh come December he'll be struggling.' They were saying that last year and, come December, I played my best football. Will that be the case this year? I have no idea but I feel as good as I felt last year. The tenth game of the season, I probably won't feel as good as I did at this opening press conference but i think most guys would feel the same way.
Favre says surgery was just the first step in the process of finding out whether he could return to the Vikings. Returning from his shoulder injury in 2009, he said his arm never felt better but that's not quite the case yet with his ankle.
[The doctors] said, 'I don't know how good it's going to feel but don't expect a dramatic difference like your shoulder.' I'm not going to break any 40 times but I need to move around.
Now that it's done, he says he's "actually surprised it doesn't feel better based on what they took out" during ankle surgery.
Favre talking about his ankle sounds awfully familiar to what he said last year about his shoulder. While he said at the time his arm never felt better, he made sure to caution everyone that it could get worse because he was, after all, getting up there in age.
And then he went out and had a career year and was heralded for his "toughness" to fight through such an injury.
I suspect we'll have a similar narrative in 2010.
Check out Daily Norseman for more on Brett Favre's return.