Vikings WR Rice should be fine to draft

Sidney Rice was one of the biggest and best sleepers in fantasy football last season. With Brett Favre at the helm of the offense, the South Carolina product put up career bests across the board and was a superstar for owners lucky enough to land him.

So when a recent report suggested that Rice was troubled by a lingering hip injury, it raised some red flags in fantasy circles.

Well, it looks like we can put those flags away … at least for now.

During a chat with fans on NFL.com, Rice said that his hip was “going to be fine.”

“I just want it to be ready for the first regular season game,” Rice said in the chat. “I had a couple of meetings with the doctor and I’m not going to need surgery. I’m just being cautious right now, doing rehab and I’ll be ready for the start of the season.”

While he clearly isn’t 100 percent at this point, the fact that a surgical procedure won’t be needed is good news. Barring setbacks – which should be avoided as Rice will be closely monitored in the weeks to come – he’ll be in the starting lineup Sept. 9 when the Vikings and Saints open the 2010 season in New Orleans.

But beware, there is at least a small amount of risk involved with Rice, especially if your draft is sooner rather than later. Remember, he has had problems with injuries in the past.

Assuming Favre is back under center, which Rice believes will happen, the talented wideout will be a borderline No. 1 option in fantasy leagues. Of course, that’s if he’s a full go in time for the regular season.

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