EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Another visit to his eye doctor has Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer optimistic that all the problems surrounding a detached retina in his right eye are behind him.
If he keeps progressing the way he has been recently, Zimmer said, a ninth surgery on the eye should not be necessary. Zimmer said Thursday that he was told the retina is "perfect" and that his doctor "would be absolutely shocked" if the coach experienced a recurrence of the issues that have plagued him for the last nine months.
"I'm not out of the woods totally, but it's nice we're progressing the right thing, and maybe number nine surgery doesn't show up," Zimmer said on the final day of Vikings minicamp.
A gas bubble placed in his eye to help the retina heal continues to cloud his vision some, but Zimmer said it likely will disappear in the next seven to 10 days. He still cannot fly, so he will have to drive to Dallas for his daughter's wedding later in June.
Zimmer was ordered away from the team for two weeks to give his eye a better chance to recover, an exile that ended earlier this month.
Now the bigger concern is that problems could surface in his left eye, Zimmer said. Doctors will closely monitor both eyes to try to catch any issues much sooner than they did last season, when Zimmer had to miss a game while recovering from a surgery.
Some of the problems with his right eye were exacerbated by Zimmer's unwillingness to step away from his job last season to give it time to heal. Two weeks ago he said that he did not take the situation as seriously as he should have. But when he contemplated the possibility his left eye could experience similar issues, the stubborn coach seemed to indicate he'd keep pushing as hard as he ever had.
"If it's (during) the season, I'm going, baby," Zimmer said, meaning he would keep working. "It's time to go. We have to worry about it after the season."