EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- When the Minnesota Vikings start training camp in Mankato, Minnesota, at the end of next month, coach Mike Zimmer expects the issues in his right eye to be a thing of the past.
Zimmer said Thursday that his eye is recovering nicely after eight operations between November and May to repair a detached retina. The coach said he had a checkup on Wednesday that showed "the retina is perfect, the pressure [in my eye] is great."
Zimmer said his doctor told him he'd be "absolutely shocked if anything else happened in this eye." And while Zimmer will have to drive to Texas for his daughter's wedding later this month while the gas bubble in his eye dissolves, the coach said, "We're just about out of the woods."
His vision in his right eye is currently 20/100 with corrective lenses, but the coach said it should improve in the next two weeks as the bubble dissolves. There remains a 20 percent chance of similar issues developing in Zimmer's left eye, the coach said.
"The deal is, [the doctor] said, 'I'm actually more worried about your [left] eye than [the right] eye,' -- now, don't get all the headlines out of that," Zimmer said. "What he said was, because your eyes are typically shaped the same way, there's a 1-in-5 chance that something could happen in the other eye. But, he also said because we're diligent about the things we're doing, we would catch it much sooner [than the right eye]. But, saying that, if it's the season, I'm going. It's time to go, baby. We'll have to worry about it after the season."
Zimmer's eye issues surfaced before the Vikings' Oct. 31 loss to the Chicago Bears, and worsened when the coach scratched at his eye during the game. He had surgery the next day, and subsequent operations eventually caused him to miss the Vikings' Dec. 1 game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Following Zimmer's eighth surgery in May, the Vikings asked him to take two weeks away from the team to let his eye heal, and Zimmer coached the team remotely from his ranch in northern Kentucky. A June 4 appointment cleared him to return for the Vikings' final week of organized team activities, however, and as the Vikings closed their mandatory minicamp on Thursday, Zimmer said he didn't anticipate his right eye putting any restrictions on what he wanted to do during the next six weeks before training camp.