Eight is enough, at least for Vikings coach Mike Zimmer and eye surgeries.
Zimmer is still having some trouble with his problematic right eye, and might not be cleared to fly back to Minnesota from his offseason home in Kentucky. He told Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that the gas bubble which stabilizes his retina was supposed to dissolve two weeks ago, but hasn’t yet. He’s going to see doctors in Cincinnati next week to determine whether he can resume flying, or whether he’ll have to drive back to the Twin Cities.
“There’s no lens in the eye, so all I can see is shapes,” Zimmer said. “Once this bubble goes out, I can get a contact supposedly to see.”
Doctors could insert a permanent lens, but he waved that off, saying: “Which we’re not going to do that. We’re not having more surgeries.”
Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman said Zimmer’s eyesight should return close to 20/20 with a contact lens.
While Zimmer has tried to keep his coaching routine during the problems, he insists he didn’t do anything to set back his own progress by working.
“This is the God’s honest truth,” he said. “I didn’t do anything that the doctor didn’t tell me to do. If they told me to go and lay flat for 24 hours, I did. I laid down face-first on the massage table. He never told me once I couldn’t look at film.”
Sugarman called Zimmer “a perfect patient.”
“He did everything appropriately,” Sugarman said. “I made sure he followed the rules. People have this perception that the reason he’s had eight surgeries is because he didn’t follow the rules. I don’t think that’s a fair assessment of what happened. I also think it’s fair to say there’s no surgeon who screwed up.”
Zimmer had to miss a game because of the eye problems last year, and he hopes that he’s approaching the point where he can resume normally. For now, on his farm, he’s fine, though he wears protective goggles when he’s out riding around his property.