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Updated: February 6th, 2013 12:55pm
Sources: Vikings center John Sullivan had microfracture knee surgery

Sources: Vikings center John Sullivan had microfracture knee surgery

by Tom Pelissero
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John Sullivan played every snap and should have gone to the Pro Bowl in his fifth NFL season. He'll miss some work in the offseason, though.

The Minnesota Vikings' standout center underwent microfracture surgery on his left knee last week, according to two NFL sources.

Sullivan, 27, had the surgery on Thursday at Dr. James Andrews' office in Pensacola, Fla. He is facing a three- to four-month rehabilitation -- likely sidelining him for a good chunk of the Vikings' offseason program, which culminates with the mandatory minicamp in mid-June.

Microfracture surgery treats damaged areas of articular cartilage by creating small fractures in the bone underneath. The good news is Sullivan's lesion was small, sources said, and he should make a full recovery before training camp begins in late July.

Sullivan was listed on the Vikings' injury report with a knee issue only once this season, before their Week 13 game against Chicago. He also appeared with rib and ankle injuries but played all 1,097 gradable offensive snaps.

If Sullivan's performance suffered because of his health, it wasn't obvious. The website graded him as the NFL's No. 1 center, and he was named a first alternate for the NFC's Pro Bowl roster.

Seattle's Max Unger was named the Pro Bowl starter and Green Bay's Jeff Saturday the backup, even though Saturday was benched on Dec. 19 -- the same day players filled out their ballots. Saturday led all players with 312,013 fan votes, which counts one-third towards the selection.

Sullivan missed out on a $500,000 escalator because of the Pro Bowl snub. He has four years remaining on the five-year, $25.1 million contract extension he signed in December 2011, with a scheduled base salary of $3.15 million in 2013.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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In this story: John Sullivan