Sidney Rice, the Pro Bowl wide receiver of the Minnesota Vikings, could miss the first half of the season after having hip surgery Tuesday.
Coach Brad Childress told ESPN that it was hard to give a specific timetable for Rice's return, but he said it takes about eight weeks before players typically return to football.
He saw three specialists in the offseason to examine his injured hip and declined to have surgery, hoping the condition would heal on its own. Rice never participated in a practice during training camp, and it became apparent late last week that the injury was not improving fast enough for him to be ready for the season opener against New Orleans on Sept. 9.
He had surgery at a clinic in Vail, Colo., on Monday, which was first reported by the Star Tribune of Minneapolis.
Rice told ESPN's Rachel Nichols in a text message that the surgery went well. He said he already has begun physical therapy -- riding a workout bike with some help -- and hopes to be ready before midseason.
With Rice out and Percy Harvin's status in question, the Vikings could have to rely on Bernard Berrian and Javon Walker - two former division rivals - for the first couple weeks of the season.