The health of quarterback Brett Favre's throwing arm appears to be a pivotal factor in whether he comes out of retirement to play for the Minnesota Vikings.
A source close to the situation told ESPN's Jeremy Schaap on Friday that X-rays of Favre's right shoulder -- he has pain resulting from a torn biceps tendon -- have been sent to the Vikings and that the X-rays are in the process of being evaluated. If it is determined by Favre's and the Vikings' medical people that he needs anything less than "major" surgery on his shoulder, Favre will unretire to play for the Vikings, the source said.
If "major" surgery is necessary, Favre will remain retired, the source said.
The news comes one day after Yahoo! Sports reported that the 39-year-old Favre told Vikings coach Brad Childress he would remain retired.
Bus Cook, Favre's agent, told ESPN's Rachel Nichols on Friday that he did not know of any X-rays being sent to Minnesota.
Cook did leave a door open to Favre playing for the Vikings saying he would expect "to have a conversation about how badly they wanted him and what kind of contract and terms we were talking about." But, "so far, that hasn't happened."
"Brett would have to be mentally ready to go play, physically ready to go play and want to go play, and I'm not sure all three of those things are there right now." Cook said.
To play a 19th NFL season, Cook said, "Brett would have to be mentally ready to go play, physically ready to go play and want to go play, and I'm not sure all three of those things are there right now."
Favre wanted to play for the Vikings last season, but the Green Bay Packers specifically eliminated their NFC North rivals as a destination when they negotiated the trade that sent Favre to the Jets last August.
Although Favre said he would not play in 2009, the Jets released him after drafting Mark Sanchez in the first round in April. Favre could see the Vikings as the opportunity to fulfill the goal he was deprived of last season -- winning a Super Bowl.
The two have been a hot topic in the past two weeks. There were reports earlier this week that Childress planned to meet with Favre at the player's Mississippi home to try to talk him into coming to the team. Cook told ESPN and another reporter on Thursday that Favre "is retired'" and he doesn't know of any phone conversation or meeting with Childress.
Then came Yahoo!'s report saying Favre informed Childress he would not play in the coming season.
Cook said Thursday that he spoke to Favre, who never mentioned any telephone conversation with Childress. Cook also added that he knew of no plans for Favre to address the Vikings situation publicly, as suggested in a Yahoo! Sports report.
Vikings officials have declined comment to The Associated Press.
According to Schaap's source, Favre is motivated to continue his career, in part due to his disdain for Packers management, and he is eager to play again in the NFC North, where he would have the chance to exact a measure of revenge against the franchise he spent 16 seasons with.
Cook, however, continued to leave a door open to Favre playing for the Vikings, saying that if or when Favre is ready or interested in joining the franchise, Cook would expect "to have a conversation about how badly they [Minnesota] wanted him and what kind of contract and terms we were talking about."
"So far, that hasn't happened yet," Cook told Nichols.