A welcome sight as the Minnesota Vikings began training camp practices Friday was the lack of players relegated to the sidelines in particular starting center John Sullivan who missed the team's offseason workouts because he was recovering from microfracture surgery on his left knee.

Sullivan who played through the injury at the end of last season and then had surgery in the offseason was practicing in his usual spot with the first-team offensive line Friday. Sullivan won't be taking all of the first-team repetitions during practices as the team eases him back but he was ready to participate in the first practice of training camp.

"I'm just going to follow the plan that the coaches and trainers have put in for me and try to get better every single day" Sullivan said stating he feels "great."

Sullivan said the injury started with a degenerative condition in his knee and then worsened in Week 13 last season at Green Bay. Sullivan is continuing his recovery plan that had him working out separate of the team during the offseason program for organized team activities and minicamp.

He said he isn't concerned about any ongoing issues with the knee though he understands having his reps limited during training camp.

"I believe that's part of the plan" Sullivan said. "But at the same time how I feel I'll be communicating with the coaches communicating with the trainers trying to help them give me the appropriate level of work. Obviously if I could do everything that would be the preference but that's not totally up to me."

Sullivan returns to anchor the middle of an offensive line that returns each of the five starters from last season starting all 16 games together.

"There's no issue with limited reps and the mental side of things" Sullivan said. "The hardest part would be conditioning. It's hard to get in shape for playing football without actually playing football. Tom Kanavy and our strength staff are some of the best in the business so I'll be working with them."

Coach Leslie Frazier said Sullivan's availability is important early in camp even if it's in a limited role.