EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Christian Ponder said in early March he was over the painful triceps injury that kept him out of the Minnesota Vikings' playoff game. He just left one part out.
During a break in his workout on Wednesday at Winter Park, Ponder revealed he ended up in an emergency room a couple weeks after the season ended because the injury mysteriously returned.
"They said the contusion came back," Ponder said. "I don't know why or how, but it did, and it was just weird."
Ponder suffered the injury on a hit by Green Bay safety Morgan Burnett in the Vikings' regular-season finale. By the next morning, the triceps muscle had shut down and Ponder's throwing arm was swollen and discolored.
The Vikings' medical staff tried to work out the swelling and rebuild strength in the muscle, but it didn't happen quickly enough for Ponder to play in the playoff rematch against the Packers six days later.
According to Ponder, the effects of the injury seemed to dissipate over the two weeks after that -- until it came back.
"All of a sudden, the whole thing got rock hard and swelled up," Ponder said. "I was scared to death it was a blood clot, so I went to the ER. But they said it was fine and just to ice it down, and eventually, it'll work itself out."
That prognosis wasn't doctors' first inclination, though. According to Ponder, his first call was to Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman, who eventually connected with the doctor he was seeing in the ER.
"I called Sugs first, and thank goodness, because the doctor in the ER -- she was a great help, but like wanted to go into surgery," Ponder said. "She thought it was compartmental syndrome. Luckily, Sugs called at the right moment and talked to the doctor and said don't do anything crazy, just go get him an MRI to make sure, and it ended up being fine."
Compartment syndrome is a potentially limb- and life-threatening condition that occurs after injuries in which there is insufficient blood and oxygen supply because of raised pressure in the "compartment" -- in this case, the arm.
Good thing Sugarman pushed for that MRI, huh?
"Yeah, no kidding, no kidding," Ponder said. "They were scaring me with what they wanted to do."
Ponder said there have been no further issues, though, and he doesn't expect the injury to be an issue going forward.