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Vikings' Zimmer: 'I'll be back shortly with one eye or two'

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he plans to return to his duties even if he loses sight in his right eye.

Zimmer is away from the team during this week's organized team activities after undergoing his eighth eye surgery in the past seven months.

"I'll be back shortly with one eye or two," Zimmer said during a conference call. "It doesn't matter. I'll be back either way."

Zimmer's latest surgery was on May 17 when doctors inserted a gas bubble into his eye, designed to stabilize his detached retina and keep it in place.

"I can't see through the gas bubble," Zimmer said from his offseason home near Cincinnati. "It's like looking through a water balloon."

Zimmer initially injured the eye when he scratched it during Minnesota's loss to the Chicago Bears on Oct. 31. He later missed a home defeat against the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 1 due to the situation.

The possibility of becoming permanently blind exists and the 60-year-old Zimmer has pondered the situation.

"I don't want to go blind in this eye (but) if that's what it is, that's what it is," Zimmer said. "This will not keep me from coaching. I've asked the doctor if it's a lost cause. He said, 'No, it's not like that. If it was, I'd tell you.'

"Obviously, I've thought about it. But this is not going to keep me from coaching one way or another."

Zimmer said he has an eye examination on June 5 and hopes he will be cleared to resume his coaching duties.

Currently, he is receiving OTA updates from linebackers coach Adam Zimmer -- his son -- and defensive line coach Andre Patterson. He also is reviewing tape and relaying feedback.

"The players are probably tired of me texting them when I see things on tape," Zimmer said. "The coaches have done real good job relaying messages. Really, it's not been that bad that part. I miss being in meetings with players and being on field and giving immediate feedback, things like that."