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#pounditFriday, August 19, 2022

Mike Zimmer taking hiatus from Vikings following eye surgery

The Minnesota Vikings will begin organized team activities (OTAs) on Tuesday, but head coach Mike Zimmer will not be there to oversee them.

General manager Rick Spielman announced on Monday that Zimmer would be taking a short hiatus from the team after undergoing his eighth eye surgery since last October.

“As the Vikings begin OTA practices, coach Zimmer will be taking time away from the team to dedicate to recovering from eye surgery and restoring his health,” Spielman wrote in a statement released by the Vikings. “We all agree Mike’s health is the priority and we believe rest and recovery are in his best interest for the long term. We anticipate Mike back on the field in a few weeks.”

Zimmer told KFAN-FM in Minneapolis that the decision to take a few weeks off was not his, but rather, the advice of his doctors. They feel rest is what’s best for his overall health at this time.

“The doctors all got together and we had a long meeting about what’s the best for my recuperation of this eye and they are saying I need to spend the next couple weeks working on my recovery,” Zimmer said. “I just left the doctor’s office, had really good news — the redness looks great, the pressure in my eye is really good. At this point now, we just need to take it easy and make sure it continues in the right way.

“I’ll be back hopefully shortly. They felt like it would be better for me to get away for a little bit and just relax.”

Zimmer called missing OTAs “unfortunate,” but added that he’ll remain in contact with the team and his coaching staff over the next several weeks. Additionally, he will not appoint an interim head coach because he expects to be back in relatively short order.

The ongoing surgeries are in effort to restore as much of Zimmer’s eyesight as possible after he suffered a detached retina last year.

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