Brett Favre is back in Minnesota

EDEN PRAIRIE — Brett Favre is back in Minnesota, stirring hope among Vikings fans that he may be ready to play this season.

A private jet trimmed in the Vikings’ purple and gold carrying the 40-year-old quarterback landed at an airport outside Minneapolis on Tuesday afternoon. Favre was then whisked to Viking headquarters, and disappeared into the building.

Favre’s website posted a message earlier saying “stay tuned for breaking news from the Minnesota Vikings today on Brett Favre’s possible return.” There’s still no official word from the team.

Favre will turn 41 in October and has flirted with retirement for years while playing for the Green Bay Packers, the New York Jets and now the Vikings. He threw 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season to help Minnesota reach the NFC title game.

The three-time MVP has been thinking about retirement again this year after injuring his ankle in the NFC championship loss to New Orleans in January. He had surgery on his left ankle in June, and told teammates and some team officials earlier in August that it wasn’t sufficiently healed enough for him to return for a 20th NFL season.

Yet no one in the organization has fully bought into that — partly because they went through a similar ordeal in 2009.

Last year, Favre told the team on the eve of training camp that he was going to stay retired only to return the Tuesday after their first preseason game.

Favre visited Dr. James Andrews in Florida last week to get a checkup on his ankle and the Vikings reportedly sent three of his closest friends on the team to Mississippi to woo him one final time.

Favre proved last year that he didn’t need all that extra sweating in training camp, delivering one of his finest seasons to lead the Vikings to the brink of the Super Bowl. He took a beating at the Superdome, yet still threw for 310 yards and a touchdown. But he also threw two interceptions, the last one in Saints territory at the end of regulation that cost the team a chance a game-winning field goal try.

The Associated Press

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