EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- For the second consecutive spring, Brett Favre's decision to have surgery down South has decreased any doubts in Minnesota about his desire to play.
The body part has changed, from right shoulder to left ankle, but the name and the game remain the same. This time, the vibe around the Vikings is leaving even less intrigue than last year about whether or not Favre will be the team's quarterback this fall.
Favre posted confirmation of the arthroscopic procedure on his personal Web site this past Friday. He hasn't officially told the team he will return, but the surgery sure was a strong suggestion.
"I think that's some promising news," Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said after Thursday's practice. "Why'd he get ankle surgery? That's the first thing that came through my mind. Seems like he got it for the season, because that's what he needed to come back to the Vikings. But whatever's best for him and his family and for his old body -- old, old, old body, I stress that. He has to make a decision that's good for him."
Favre's future has been up in the air since the Vikings lost the NFC Championship Game to the New Orleans Saints in January. He's coming off what he has called the best season of his 19-year NFL career, that forced interception in the fourth quarter against the Saints the only real blemish.
Favre often spoke about how much fun he had playing for his one-time rivals and that the Vikings coming so close to the Super Bowl ought to increase his appetite for more success even if the new grandpa will turn 41 in October.
"You always want to end on top," Shiancoe said. "Not saying that he personally didn't end on top, but us as a team, man, we have unfinished business. Hopefully he feels the same way."
Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said he wasn't surprised that Favre had surgery but insisted his most recent contact with the quarterback wasn't related to football. Bevell teased his longtime friend about his satellite participation in a motivational business seminar held in Minneapolis on Wednesday.
As for when Favre might start working out his arm again in Mississippi?
"Haven't even gone there with him, to be honest with you," Bevell said.
Via video at the seminar, Favre was asked about playing this season. He said he's not sure and that his attitude is "wait and see."
"Physically, I don't feel great," Favre said. "I'm not getting any younger."
Bevell slipped into the present tense a few times while answering questions from reporters about Favre's status.
"He's just an impressive guy," Bevell said. "There's not a lot of guys that continue to play this long, so every day we get out here with him is a great day and it's special for us."
Bevell also acknowledged, when asked, that the coaches could have a better handle on how to call the offense than a year ago.
"We'll be able to pick up from that spot now since he's been through it for one year and continue to make adjustments from there," Bevell said. "So I think it will help us."
Former teammate Darren Sharper used his Twitter account to start some trash talk toward Favre and the Vikings last week after the surgery was confirmed. The Saints and Vikings open the regular season Sept. 9 in New Orleans.
"X marks the spot," Sharper posted, referring to Favre's ankle. He added: "I've seen him play on one leg, but not against the WHO DAT nation."
The Vikings, of course, came to Favre's defense.
"Sharper had surgery, too. And it was the knee," Shiancoe said. "So if 'X' marks the spot on Brett, I wonder what would mark the spot on Sharper? I know which one it is. I know exactly which one it is."
Shiancoe and Sharper remain friends, though, and the tight end said he believes the ex-Viking was joking.
"They're NFL champions, but when a team plays you and has six turnovers and still is in it in the last series of the game, I wouldn't open my mouth too much," Vikings right guard Anthony Herrera said. "That's what every team does. It's nothing new. We'll see Sharp, and we'll handle that when the time comes."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press