New Orleans Saints hoping Jonathan Vilma will return soon

New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton did not directly confirm the Times-Picayune's report that linebacker Jonathan Vilma had surgery to clean up his lingering left knee injury last week. But Payton did say that Vilma has been rehabbing the knee and that the best-case scenario is that he can return to the field in time for the Saints' next game against the New York Giants on Monday, Nov. 28.

Vilma did not play in the Saints' last two games after trying to fight through the unspecified injury for much of the season. He originally injured the knee in Week 2 against the Chicago Bears.

"I'm hopeful," Payton said. "He's in rehab now, still getting treatment. The goal is to see where he's at (next week). An optimistic goal would be this game against New York. We'll go from there. I know just from seeing him all last week, he's doing well. And so I'm hopeful he can play in that game, and yet it's way too early to tell.

"I'd rather update you guys next week and not really get into detail right now. I know he's doing well. I know he hasn't really made mention to it, and I don't want to as well, especially during this bye week. But like I said last week, (the knee) just got to a point where it was just stagnant. We were hoping we'd see more progress, and I think we'll have a much better idea where he's at next week."

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