|Photo by Jeffrey Beall via Wikimedia|
The former Chicago Bears lineman has been dealing with a hip issue for the past two seasons. In that period he played in all 32 regular-season games for the Bears. He was not listed on the injury report in 2013. Wootton said he felt pain during the 2012 season and aggravated the hip in training camp last summer.
Wootton underwent surgery in January to repair the nagging hip injury. The arthroscopic procedure was performed by Dr. Benjamin Domb of Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. A press release issued by the hospital stated Wootton had his labrum (the ring of cartilage that holds the ball-and-socket joint in place as a shock absorber) repaired.
Wootton also had a terminal femoroacetabular impingement, which occurs when hip bones are abnormally shaped, decompressed. The hospital also quoted Wootton as having said, "I’m looking forward to being 100 percent recovered from this, to really showcase what I can do."
The 26-year old has battled his share of injuries dating back to his days as a Wildcat at Northwestern. In 2008, he suffered a torn ACL in the Alamo Bowl against Missouri. A neck injury discovered later dropped Wootton's stock in the 2010 NFL Draft with the Bears picking him in the fourth round.
Wootton later admitted coming into camp his rookie year that he had yet to fully recover from the injuries that plagued him in college.
The DL spent four seasons with the Chicago Bears. He started 15 games last season, finishing with 34 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble. At 6-foot-6, 275 pounds the Wootton is best known for his first career sack in December of 2010. He brought down legendary quarterback Brett Favre. The hit gave Favre a concussion that prevented him from playing in the final two games of his career.
Wootton told the Sun-Times shortly after the hip procedure that recovery would take four to six months. He said he felt good after the surgery and had started rehabilitation. The ability to play multiple positions along the defensive line makes Wootton a valuable asset to the Vikings.
How Wootton checks out medically will be a key factor in determining when he will take the field this season.