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Updated: July 14th, 2012 2:44pm
Vikings LB Jasper Brinkley declares himself healthy: 'I'm ready to go'

Vikings LB Jasper Brinkley declares himself healthy: 'I'm ready to go'

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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Minnesota Vikings linebacker Jasper Brinkley declared himself healthy on Friday, insisting the media has blown his recent health issues out of proportion.

"I just had a little (groin) strain," he told the Augusta Chronicle. "You know how the media is."

In reality, Brinkley fueled the fire last month by telling reporters it was not the groin, but his surgically repaired hip that kept him from participating in most of the team's offseason practices.

That contradicted the words of coach Leslie Frazier and general manager Rick Spielman, who said after the team's minicamp Brinkley's durability is "definitely" a concern.

A fifth-round draft pick in 2009 who started six games (including playoffs) as a rookie, Brinkley missed all of last season following hip surgery that cost him a chance to beat out Erin Henderson at weakside linebacker.

He's the projected starter at middle linebacker this season but hasn't practiced since June 6 because of the groin, which required him to stay in the Twin Cities for treatment after minicamp ended.

"I'm ready to go," Brinkley told the Chronicle. "My first year, I was thrown in the fire and had to learn on the go. I've just built off that year after year. I'm just blessed to be around a lot of great guys, and I'm blessed to come from a great hometown."

Brinkley was back in Thomson, Ga., on Friday to hold his Camp 54 football camp for 180 children along with a group of friends including Henderson and Brinkley's twin brother, Casper.

The Vikings report to training camp on July 26.

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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