Vikings' Greg Childs continuing to rehab: 'I'll definitely be back'
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Greg Childs doesn't like doing interviews right now. He still doesn't want to get into specifics of his recovery from two torn patellar tendons.
But as teammates packed up in the Minnesota Vikings' locker room this week, Childs ducked out of the athletic training room long enough to provide a simple message.
"Everything's coming along good," Childs said. "I'll definitely be back. It's not even a question or whatever. It's just mainly me continuing doing what I'm doing out here, continue my rehab, continue to stay focused and just getting ready to go."
Childs tore the patellar tendon in his right knee in October 2010 at the University of Arkansas and admittedly wasn't himself the following season. That contributed to his slide to the Vikings in the fourth round of April's draft.
He was making a positive impression in training camp until Aug. 4, when he crashed to the turf untouched while diving for a pass and suffered the same injury in both knees.
"It's more mental than anything," Childs said. "There's certain things that you have to wait until you're able to do. You can't just go right into it. But it definitely helps I done I did it before, so I know I can definitely do it again. I'm doing it.
"That's just how it goes. Most people are like, 'Ahh ...' No, I'm going to find a way to do this. I'm going to find a way to do this. If there ain't no way, you make your own way. That's basically what I'm doing now. So, everything will be good to go."
Childs was seen on occasion lifting weights during the season but spoke with reporters only once in early October, when he made a similar proclamation that he will return.
Bilateral patellar tendon tears are extremely rare in the general population. No NFL player has returned from the injury, although at least two -- running backs Cadillac Williams and Correll Buckhalter -- have returned from two separate patelar tendon tears.
The risk the Vikings took in drafting Childs was relatively low. He received a $300,584 signing bonus and a first-year split salary of $273,000. He's 6-foot-3 and 219 pounds with 4.5-range speed, 10 1/8-inch hands and a knack for high-pointing the football.
That's a skill set the Vikings sorely could use if Childs can return to his old form -- and stay there, which might be the biggest question of all.
Asked what he's able to do physically five months after the injury, Childs grinned and said, "I can't tell you all that. It's a surprise. I can't let you know everything."
He also declined to say whether he expects to participate in any drills when organized team activity practices begin in May. Though recovery can take as little as six months, Childs said it took 18 months for him to feel like himself last time.
"I'm going to be able to do something whenever they allow me to," Childs said. "It's not really in my hands. It's not if I can or do I want to. It's much higher than me."