Packers’ David Bakhtiari meets goal of returning to play Vikings a month after appendectomy

GREEN BAY – After surgery, David Bakhtiari looked at the Green Bay Packers schedule, and looked for the first game he might return.

He was dealing with a medical condition, not a football injury, after an emergency appendectomy in the beginning of December. That only complicated how this football season would end for the Packers left tackle. An ankle, a knee, a shoulder – the recovery timetables for those injuries are well rehearsed throughout the NFL. This was different.

What Bakhtiari knew is he would miss at least three weeks. From there, it was how well he could manage pain. His colon was sewn shut with 500 micro staples. He could barely poop for a couple of days. When he would be able to block 300-pound men again, only he could determine.

Bakhtiari quickly decided that, if all went according to plan, his first game back would be Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

“It was in my mind and the plan all along,” Bakhtiari said. “That three-week mark was going to be, ‘We’ll kind of see.’ Come the fourth week, I had more pain tolerance. Which wasn’t the most comfortable thing, but I didn’t care.

“Come game day, get that adrenaline going, we’re going to go.”

No, the past few days haven’t been comfortable for Bakhtiari. When he returned to the practice field for the first time since his Dec. 2 surgery, he felt tightness in his abdomen. Bakhtiari said it was the scar tissue around his colon loosening up.

He decided to practice through it, determined to be on the field as