Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, who underwent eight eye surgeries since November to restore vision, is ready to get on an airplane again.
The 61-year-old Zimmer has been medically cleared to resume air travel and will fly back to Minnesota this week to get ready for training camp, a person with direct knowledge told Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press.
Zimmer was examined by an ophthalmologist in Cincinnati and passed another test in his recovery from multiple surgeries to repair a torn retina in his right eye. The coach told the Pioneer Press last week he was prepared to drive back from his ranch in northern Kentucky if doctors kept him grounded.
Zimmer said he plans to return Minnesota on Thursday. Rookies are scheduled to report to camp at Minnesota State University in Mankato on July 23 and veterans on July 26.
Zimmer initially injured the eye when he scratched it during Minnesota’s loss to the Chicago Bears on Oct. 31. He later missed a home defeat against the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 1.
Following his last operation on May 17, Zimmer had hoped the gas bubble inserted to stabilize his retina would dissolve in four to six weeks, but the process took 10 weeks.
Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman traveled to Kentucky last week to see Zimmer and coordinate appointments with eye doctors in Cincinnati and the Twin Cities when he returns, according to the Pioneer Press.
“I think we’re out of the woods,” Zimmer told the newspaper.
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