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Black and Blue all over: Udeze continues fight

1/27/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Minnesota defensive end Kenechi Udeze met with members of the local media Monday and said his goal remains to re-join the team when its offseason program begins in April.

Udeze had a bone marrow transplant six months ago to assist his fight against an aggressive form of leukemia that caused him to miss the 2008 season. Udeze has an important biopsy scheduled for Tuesday, and he said: "It's been nothing but good news [so far], so let's hope for the best," Udeze said.

Udeze's weight topped out at around 320 pounds during part of the recovery process, but he is back down to around 260 pounds. The Vikings tolled his contract for 2008, which pushed the terms back to the 2009 season and allow him to remain under contract. They plan to give him every opportunity to prove he can still play the game after doctors clear him to try.

Wearing a "Cancer Sucks" T-shirt, Udeze spoke to a group of middle school students Monday and said: "Yes, I'm coming back, and I'm going to be better than I was before."

Here is Judd Zulgad's report in the Star Tribune and Rick Alonzo's in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Continuing around the NFC North on kind of a busy Tuesday:

  • Former NFL linebacker Kevin Greene said he is "fired up" to join Green Bay's coaching staff, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Greene, who will coach outside linebackers, added: "I played fired up as you probably know. I played with passion and desire. I have 15 years of on-field experience and my knowledge of how to play this position is second to none."

  • Plenty of Bears fans would like to see Arizona receiver Anquan Boldin in Chicago next season, writes David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune. Said Boldin: "That is always flattering. But as far as thinking about next year or the future, it doesn't help me right now. My only goal is to win the Super Bowl."

  • David Birkett of the Oakland Press spent Monday night at Ford Field at one of the Lions' "town hall" sessions with season-ticket holders. One asked coach Jim Schwartz why he should keep his tickets. Schwartz's response: "Don't get rid of your tickets because if you do, in a couple years you won't be able to get them back."