Michael Pierce expects to return from calf strain soon

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Vikings nose tackle Michael Pierce opted out of last season over COVID-19 concerns. Pierce currently is rehabbing off to the side, while waiting for medical clearance to practice.

He strained his left calf while working out in Alabama this summer.

Pierce said Thursday he expects to return “soon.”

“I actually injured it three weeks before you guys found out,” Pierce said, via Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune. “So it’s doing a lot better, is a lot further along than what coach and them expected. When I came back from ‘Bama and started getting treatments, they were pretty shocked, so that’s a good thing.”

The Vikings signed Pierce last year to replace nose tackle Linval Joseph, but Pierce sat out last season. That means he last put on shoulder pads 18 months ago.

“It will be a little bit of nervousness, a little butterflies, but I think that happens at any point in camp,” Pierce said. “Just anxiousness. I’ll probably have to like pull myself back a little bit. I’m itching. If you can’t tell, I’m fidgety, but once this calf gets to 100 percent, I’ll be able to roll.”