EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he had his eighth surgery on his right eye earlier this week, the latest step in a continued effort to restore as much of his eyesight as possible after he suffered a detached retina last year.
In this latest operation, performed Wednesday, Zimmer said doctors removed an oil bubble from his eye and inserted a gas bubble. Zimmer is unable to fly for six weeks after the surgery. He hopes the operation is the last on his right eye but added, “I’ve thought that before.”
Zimmer’s first operation came the day after the Vikings’ loss to the Chicago Bears last Oct. 31, and an emergency surgery caused him to miss the team’s game against the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 1. Zimmer returned to coach the Vikings’ next game against the Jacksonville Jaguars wearing a patch over his right eye and switching between reading glasses and sunglasses.
Zimmer said Saturday, though, that his eye is “healing,” and it didn’t prevent him from doing something he’s been looking forward to for a long time: hosting his first football camp through the charitable foundation his daughter Corri is running.
Zimmer welcomed 350 kids to the Vikings’ indoor practice facility Saturday, giving 200 spots to the Boys and Girls Club and opening up the remaining spots on a first-come, first-served basis. Interest in the camp was so strong, the coach said, that the registration website crashed.
The camp, Zimmer said, was free — something his wife, Vikki, who died in 2009, would have wanted.
“One of the things we always say is, ‘WWVD: What would Vikki do?'” Zimmer said. “It’d be free.”