Vikings’ Udeze returning to field after leukemia

(Jonathan Daniel  / Getty Images)

From 2004 to 2007, Vikings DE Kenechi Udeze saw action in 51 games and started 47, tallying 117 tackles and 11 sacks. (Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images)

Vikings DE Kenechi Udeze would be happy if he never had to hear the word “leukemia” again.

And he’s tired of the question that if his decision to play again in the NFL will risk his health, he told the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

    “If I hear that question one more time, I think I’m going to go in the back yard and run into the wall,” he said. “Honestly, I wouldn’t be attempting this again or if I had a negative test, if I knew my health was at risk. My health is doing just fine now. I don’t know what was going on before, but all I know is that right now, as we speak, I’m in great health and doing really well.”

Udeze, who sat out the 2008 season to undergo treatment, was a first-round draft pick of the Vikings in 2004. From 2004 to 2007, Udeze saw action in 51 games and started 47, tallying 117 tackles and 11 sacks.

While it remains to be seen if Udeze can be the player he was before the treatment, he told the Star Tribune that he has been cleared by the team doctor:

    “I feel really good,” Udeze said. “I just recently had a physical with our team doctor. [Dr. Sheldon] Burns had me go through a stress test and everything was good, so I’m looking forward to joining the team as we get together here soon.”

Udeze told the Star Tribune that the Vikings will ease him into offseason drills:

    “That’s the plan. I don’t know exactly what they’re going to have me doing, because they kind of want to ease me into this offseason minicamp schedule. Whatever they throw me into, I think I’ll be capable of doing.”
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