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Is Favre really done? Maybe he doesn't even know

Favre2_300 Ah, summer in Minnesota. The sun is out, the ice has melted, and Brett Favre is threatening to retire. Again.

According to various reports, Favre has begun informing the Minnesota Vikings staff and players that he won't be coming back this season, that his injured ankle isn't responding adequately to surgery and rehab. He took quite a beating in January's NFC championship game at New Orleans, and he turns 41 in October, so it's perfectly logical that he'd be calling it a career.

Except this is Favre, who famously waffles on retirement decisions, and training camp is just underway -- and no one expected Favre to participate in that anyway.

Just last summer, before ultimately joining the Vikings, Favre initially let them know he wouldn't be coming back for another season, that his surgically repaired throwing arm hadn't healed enough for him to continue his career. Then, he came back and had one of his best seasons.

Credible as the latest reports are, it's hard to believe this is the last word from Favre, whose Vikings will play at the Saints in the NFL opener Sept. 9. Judging by his history, it seems far too early for him to make a final call.

A few weeks ago, at an EA Sports Madden '11 event in Los Angeles, just-retired Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner said he thought Favre would do anything possible to come back, as long as his body responded.

"What he took from a beating standpoint at the end of the year, it just takes time to recover from that, especially when you're old like us," Warner said last month. "I just thing he's biding his time to make sure he's able to give everything he can. When he feels that, I'm pretty confident he's going to come back unless he just feels there isn't any possible way he can."

-- Sam Farmer

Photo: Vikings quarterback Brett Favre acknowledges the fans during a 35-9 rout of the Seattle Seahawks last season. Credit: Jerry Holt / McClatchy-Tribune

 
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