EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Vikings right guard Brandon Fusco will need about four months to recover from his upcoming surgery for his torn pectoral muscle.
Fusco will have the operation done Monday by a specialist in New York. He was hurt blocking last week in the game at New Orleans when his right arm was extended and became entangled with a defender.
“I knew something was wrong because I couldn’t lift my arm,” Fusco said.
This is the first significant injury of his career and the first surgery of his life, Fusco said Thursday.
The timing was especially disappointing considering the Vikings signed him to a five-year contract extension earlier this month, a deal carrying a maximum value of $25 million including $6 million in guaranteed money.
The sixth-round draft pick out of NCAA Division II school Slippery Rock earned a spot in the lineup to start the 2012 season, his second in the NFL, and held the job since.
“I had high expectations going into this year for my team and for me as well,” Fusco said, adding: “It’s part of the game, so you’ve got to deal with it.”
Vladimir Ducasse will replace him in the starting lineup this Sunday against Atlanta.
Vikings athletic trainers have had their hands full this week. Tight end Kyle Rudolph had an operation Tuesday in Philadelphia to repair a sports hernia and will be out several games.
Quarterback Matt Cassel was scheduled to visit a specialist Thursday in North Carolina about the broken bones in his left foot that also occurred during the costly game against the Saints.
“It’s devastating to me,” Cassel said. “The hard work that goes into an offseason to put yourself in a position to get to where we’re at, there was a strong belief we were going to have a lot of success this year. To not be able to perform and compete, it’s a tough deal having it taken away by injury.”
Then there’s linebacker Chad Greenway, who played through a broken left hand and a broken rib last week in New Orleans.
Coach Mike Zimmer said he regretted not holding Greenway out because he struggled to be effective through the pain. Greenway did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, and Zimmer said he’ll need to participate in practice this week to be cleared for Sunday.
After spending his rookie year on injured reserve, Greenway has played in every game for the Vikings since the start of the 2007 season. His streak of 115 consecutive games, 119 including the playoffs, is in question.
Greenway played through a broken right wrist for several weeks last year, too, but the rib injury has been harder to manage.
“Injuries are going to happen and you have to deal with stuff. Sometimes you can’t deal with as much as you thought you could have or it just becomes too much,” Greenway said, adding: “I’ve always been able to figure out a way. Sometimes it’s tougher than others. But at this point, I’m just trying to take it day to day.”
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