Should the marvel of modern medicine make over Grant Wistrom's left knee faster than expected, the Seahawks' prize free-agent acquisition will return this season. In the playoffs, but...

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KIRKLAND — Should the marvel of modern medicine make over Grant Wistrom’s left knee faster than expected, the Seahawks’ prize free-agent acquisition will return this season.

In the playoffs, but not sooner.

Coach Mike Holmgren said yesterday that Wistrom suffered a torn medial collateral ligament in the fourth quarter of the Seahawks’ 27-23 win against the Vikings on Sunday.

Normally, he would miss six weeks, which would make him available just in time for the Super Bowl, Feb. 6. But the Seahawks will re-evaluate Wistrom in 10 days to two weeks, and they’re reserving the right to change the initial prognosis.

Although the Seahawks missed Wistrom’s presence when he didn’t travel with the team during a four-game stretch earlier this season, Holmgren is leaning against bringing him to New York for Sunday’s game against the Jets.

“One, he’s a little nutso,” Holmgren said. “He’s probably going to be up standing next to me with his crutches. Two, with his injury, it makes more sense to have a good rehab and be home.”

Wistrom didn’t appear optimistic in the locker room Sunday, choking back emotion while talking to reporters.

Antonio Cochran will start at defensive end Sunday.

“It’s tough,” Wistrom said. “But I couldn’t be happier for everybody. It’s awesome.”

More injuries

Defensive tackles Rocky Bernard and Marcus Tubbs didn’t play against the Vikings, and they won’t play again Sunday. Holmgren said the earliest Bernard will return is Dec. 26 against the Arizona Cardinals, and Tubbs appears to be slated for an even later return.

Linebackers Chad Brown and Tracy White might return for the Jets game. Brown becomes an added bonus, because he can rush from Wistrom’s spot off the edge in the nickel defense.

Tight end Itula Mili escaped Sunday’s game without serious injury after colliding with the goal post.

Holmgren said he’s not sure yet about receiver Darrell Jackson’s availability this week. Jackson’s father died Sunday morning, and Jackson flew to Florida from Minnesota to tend to his family. He was supposed to talk to Holmgren yesterday or today.

Holmgren admitted the Seahawks’ banged-up defense concerned him against an offense as powerful as the Vikings.

“I thought we had to score just about every time we touched it,” he said.


• Holmgren gave the players an extra day off yesterday, and some flew home to see their families. Players and coaches approached Holmgren about the possibility on the flight home from Minnesota. “I’m a pushover, as you know,” Holmgren said. “It was very emotional. They caught me at the right time, let’s put it that way.”

• Officials ruled the last play of the Vikings’ game an incomplete pass. Holmgren lobbied for a Cochran sack on that play. “It’s a sack!” Holmgren yelped. “I don’t know how you could look at the play and not say it was a sack. The only guy who didn’t see it was the referee.”

Greg Bishop: 206-464-3191 or