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Vikings' E.J. Henderson has successful surgery for broken leg

Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress says linebacker E.J. Henderson is in "good spirits" after having surgery on his broken left leg.

Henderson stayed in intensive care at a Phoenix-area hospital while the rest of his teammates went home Sunday night after a 30-17 loss to the Cardinals.

Lombardi: Henderson's impact

NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi examined the impact of the Vikings losing E.J. Henderson.

"From a run standpoint, he's physical, can run to the football and makes a ton of plays. He made eight tackles before he got hurt. Certainly, he's a big part of it.

"In the passing game, they'll have to make some adjustments. Jasper Brinkley will be the run-down middle linebacker. They'll take Chad Greenway and move him inside some. Ben Leber will play in those situations. I think the injury affects them most in the nickel package. We saw last night the Vikings struggled in pass defense, and this injury builds on that struggle." **Watch ...**

Childress said Monday that the surgery went well. But the coach was not ready to say when, if ever, Henderson would be able to return to the field.

The gruesome nature of the injury shook up Henderson's teammates. Henderson fractured his femur while trying to tackle Tim Hightower late in the fourth quarter -- his leg twisting violently as he went down. He was taken off the field on a motorized cart after doctors spent several minutes attending to the star linebacker. His brother and teammate, Erin, held Henderson's hand as they were driven to the locker room.

The mood in the locker room around the Henderson injury was somber as many players just shook their heads in disgust at the horrific injury.

"I feel bad for E.J.," Vikings quarterback Brett Favre said. "That's awful for him and for our team."

Henderson has been a key part of Minnesota's defensive success this season, and it was the second straight year that his season was cut short with injury. His 2008 season ended after four games when he underwent surgery on his left foot.

The loss of Henderson overshadowed a disappointing performance by the Vikings, who were dominated in every aspect of the game to fall to 10-2 on the season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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