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Updated: June 4th, 2010 2:43pm
E.J. Henderson: 'I'll be there in camp ready to rock'

E.J. Henderson: 'I'll be there in camp ready to rock'

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Roughly six months after sustaining a gruesome broken leg, Minnesota Vikings middle linebacker E.J. Henderson said Friday he is on track to practice when training camp opens in late July.

When the Vikings' medical staff lets him participate remains to be seen.

"I can run high speed, full speed," Henderson said. "It's just a matter of getting things back into muscle-memory shape -- I don't have to think about taking off, I don't have to think about sprinting. I think in the next two months, I'll be able to accomplish that."

Injured Dec. 6 in an accidental collision with teammate Jamarca Sanford at Arizona, Henderson acknowledged coaches may hold him out or limit his reps in the early going -- "I'm going to leave that in their hands," he said -- but he's had no setbacks and the fractured femur is "healing great."

"They put a titanium rod in my leg, so it's not like it can rebreak," Henderson said. "It's been (six) months since the injury, so the fracture's pretty much healed up with new bone and new callous.

"It's not really like any other injury -- it's rare, it's unique. But once you get back and get back to full strength, your leg should be stronger."

The ninth-year veteran said he doesn't feel any different with the rod, which will stay in his leg permanently. He's been warming up with teammates before practice the past month but goes inside for rehabilitation when they start drills.

Henderson -- who joined about 150 other members of the Vikings organization to build a playground at Nellie Stone Johnson Community School in north Minneapolis on Friday -- said he still hasn't watched a replay of his injury and doesn't plan to.

The low point in his recovery, Henderson said, was not being available for January's NFC championship game at New Orleans. The Vikings open the season with a rematch against the Saints on Sept. 9.

Asked whether being ready for training camp is realistic, Henderson said, "I don't see why it's not realistic. I said this five, six months ago -- by training camp, I'll be ready to rock, and will continue to say that. For the rematch, I will be out there -- knock on wood, barring anything crazy happening, I'll be there for the rematch in New Orleans. Should be there for practice.

"What I do at practice? That's up to the coaches and the training staff. But I'll be there in camp ready to rock."

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
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