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Updated: December 4th, 2012 3:52pm
Sources: Percy Harvin had ligament tear, will try practicing Wednesday

Sources: Percy Harvin had ligament tear, will try practicing Wednesday

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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Percy Harvin will try to practice again on Wednesday, continuing his push to return from an injury more significant than many realized.

The Minnesota Vikings' top receiver suffered a Grade 3 sprain of his left ankle on Nov. 4 at Seattle, according to a source with knowledge of the injury. That diagnosis means a complete ligament tear that can take four to six weeks to completely heal.

The Vikings were optimistic Harvin could return in three weeks, putting him on the field when they returned from the bye on Nov. 25 at Chicago. But he has continued to have pain and struggled with turning, which strains the injured ligaments.

That was obvious as he ran routes in front of reporters last Wednesday, moving well in a straight line and then coming up limping each time he tried to get out of his break.

Harvin was listed on the injury report as a limited that day and a nonparticipant every other since the injury, though coach Leslie Frazier has indicated he continues to do on-field work with the team's athletic trainers.

Another NFL source said Harvin will attempt to practice again on Wednesday, when the Vikings begin preparations for Sunday's critical home game against the Bears.

They sorely need him back. Despite a three-game absence, Harvin leads the Vikings with 62 receptions -- 32 more than Michael Jenkins, who ranks second among receivers with 30 -- for 677 yards, and the passing game has been underwhelming the past two weeks.

Harvin suffered the injury in the third quarter of the loss to the Seahawks when a defender rolled up on the ankle. He returned to the field after getting re-taped, but the ankle gave out on multiple occasions and he underwent an MRI the next day that confirmed the damage, though the team has been cautious about releasing details.

The last time Harvin spoke to reporters was Nov. 21, when he told reporters he'd only begun walking the previous day after initially being on crutches -- not unusual with a Grade 3 sprain. He also said he intended to test the ankle that afternoon but wasn't on the field when practice began.

"It's still a little stiff in certain areas," Harvin said that day. "A little swelling -- it's just not major swelling. So, it's to the point now where I feel like I can do a little something."

The Vikings have listed Harvin as doubtful (25% chance of playing) on Friday's injury report for each of the past three games but downgraded him to out the past two weeks when he didn't travel with the team.

It's possible he could take a painkilling injection on game day, but those work by reducing inflammation, which is what promotes the healing Harvin sorely needs.

Harvin has one year remaining on the five-year rookie contract he signed in 2009, with a scheduled base salary of $1.55 million, and expects a new deal after the season.

Though he has dealt with a variety of health issues, including chronic migraine problems, Harvin had missed only three games over his first three NFL seasons.

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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