Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 5/30/12
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier was checking in on the rehabbing Percy Harvin on Monday when he received a text from Harvin that said the wide receiver was already in town with organized team activities scheduled to begin the following day.With the good news of Harvin's arrival, Frazier had to make sure he was getting the correct information from the receiver who is coming off minor shoulder surgery."I texted him back and said, 'Is this the Percy Harvin, the real Percy Harvin?' Frazier said. "Just great for our meetings, great for our coaches to see him around even though he's not able to participate in some of the drills, but just to have him on the side doing the things he's doing, being in the meetings. He's a guy that's so well respected by our team and all the guys know how much of a playmaker he is, but he's become one of the leaders on our football team. So, it is, it's great that he would be here in a voluntary situation.When Harvin left for the offseason he had vowed to rally his teammates for participation in the offseason program. The Vikings have followed through on his promise with nearly perfect attendance the first month of workouts, but Harvin himself wasn't here after surprise surgery.In April, Harvin underwent a procedure to remove bone spurs in the shoulder and was expected to be back in time for the start of OTAs this week. He has been present for all practices and meetings but has been limited to catching passes on the side and working with trainer Eric Sugarman."I tried to join today, but they still limited me a little bit, Harvin said. "I'm hoping the next week or two, definitely. I'm pushing forward for the next few days. Hopefully next week, early week, I should know a little something more.Harvin knew there was a problem with his shoulder and said the injury dates back to Week 6 or 7 of last season. He wasn't slated for offseason surgery when the team broke for the season, but he felt the pain flare-up again in workouts."I knew it was hurt last year, Harvin said. "A couple of those games late in the season when I was going out for a play or two it was because of the shoulder. I kind of wanted to keep it a secret from you guys, but I knew it was hurting so I got it addressed in the offseason. Trying to bench press I felt it a little bit, so just cleaned it out and it's all good now.Harvin, 24, caught passes from the quarterbacks during position drills on Wednesday before later working on the sideline with Sugarman and running back Adrian Peterson, who is going through rehab from December knee surgery. Harvin and Peterson were also running up the side hill at the Vikings' facilities at Winter Park, racing each other to the top."We're just competing, trying to make each other better, Harvin said. "I think the first couple I won AP kind of smiled and said, 'You know I'm trying to beat you.' I said, 'I wouldn't want it no other way.' So we challenge each other, whether we're out here, in the weight room, squatting, bench pressing. Me and him compete constantly, and that makes us better.Defensive leaders missing: Five of the 89 players on the roster were missing from Wednesday's morning practice that was open to the media. Cornerback Asher Allen was one of the five, and Frazier informed reporters that Asher had decided to retire.The most notable absences were those of defensive end Jared Allen and linebacker Chad Greenway. Frazier said Greenway was tending to a family matter. Allen is continuing his offseason training in Arizona like he has the past few seasons, though Frazier hopes he makes it to OTAs next week."In Jared's case, I'm hoping that we'll see him next week, Frazier said. "The participation that we do have gets everyone excited.Starting center John Sullivan and undrafted free-agent running back Derrick Coleman also were absent. Rookie receiver Greg Childs, drafted in the fourth round and trying to return to full health from a lingering patellar tendon injury, watched from the sideline.Football activities ramp up: Tuesday began the third phase of the offseason program in which teams can work in more football activities. Clubs can now employ full-squad offensive and defensive drills, a change from Phase 2, which allowed only one-on-one competition.The Vikings have three weeks of OTAs, followed by a three-day mandatory veteran minicamp from June 19-21. Players will then receive time off before having to report to Mankato for training camp Aug. 16.Last offseason was interrupted due to the lockout, and Frazier is excited to again have the chance to work with players in the practice environment."Words cannot express how good this feels to be able to go through an offseason, Frazier said. "To plan things and see them come to fruition. And time will tell how beneficial it is for our team and our staff. But in my mind, it's tremendously beneficial. We hope to show the fans that when the ball starts flying around how beneficial this offseason has been.Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
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