It appears as though the Minnesota Vikings will be getting their head coach back sooner rather than later. According to a weekend report from Brian Murphy of TwinCities.com, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has finally been cleared to resume flying after it was initially believed that this would not be the case ahead of training camp.
“Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has been medically cleared to resume air travel and will fly back to Minnesota next week for training camp, according to a person with direct knowledge,” writes Murphy.
“Zimmer was examined by an ophthalmologist in Cincinnati and passed another test in his long recovery from multiple surgeries to repair a torn retina in his right eye. He told the Pioneer Press last week he was prepared to drive back from his ranch in northern Kentucky if doctors kept him grounded.”
While Vikings rookies are expected to report to training camp on July 23, the veteran head coach now plans to return home to Minnesota on Thursday.
However, it has been a long road for Zimmer over the course of the last several months. Undergoing eight different surgeries since back in November, the 61-year-old head coach has been attempting to restore the vision that began deteriorating ahead of the Vikings’ October 31 matchup against the rival Chicago Bears. With his last procedure coming in May, Zimmer “had hoped the gas bubble inserted to stabilize his retina would dissolve in four to six weeks, but the process took 10.”
Although Minnesota failed to reach the postseason in 2016-17, the Vikings previously returned to the playoffs in 2015-16 before coming up short in their initial matchup.