Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre met Thursday with renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews, sources told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Earlier Thursday, sources told NFL Network's Scott Hanson that Favre returned to Hattiesburg, Miss., on agent Bus Cook's plane Thursday, the same day that a plane was tracked flying from Hattiesburg to Pensacola, Fla.
Andrews has offices outside of Pensacola, in Gulf Breeze, Fla.
Last week, Favre told NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci that his surgically repaired left ankle still was bothering him and that he needed more time before deciding whether to return for a 20th season. An appointment with Dr. Andrews was scheduled for this week, according to Mariucci.
Favre has been testing the ankle throughout the summer, mostly while working out with high school football players at Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg. But Aug. 3 Favre reportedly texted Vikings teammates to tell them his ankle wasn't responding as he had hoped and he was planning to retire.
Favre briefly addressed reporters last Wednesday in Hattiesburg, denying he told his Vikings teammates he's retiring. Favre added that he would return "if I'm healthy, sure." However, a timetable for that decision is "up for discussion," he said.
Addressing a report in the Star-Tribune that the Vikings had offered Favre a larger contract, Cook told Mariucci earlier that same Wednesday that any potential comeback hinges on Favre's health, not a healthier contract.
Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell also said it has been his understanding that if Favre's ankle heals well enough, he will return to the team. Favre injured his left ankle during last season's NFC Championship Game loss to the New Orleans Saints.
"I know it's a decision that he wrestles with," Bevell said of Favre, who had surgery on his ankle in May. "He's a great player. He's a great competitor. He mulls things over. He's an emotional guy. So he thinks things through long and hard and takes his time with his decision. So I'm not surprised that things started to come out. We just have to wait and see."
That's nothing new for the Vikings, who have answered questions about Favre's intentions the past two offseasons. An entire advertising campaign has been built around his indecision, and his teammates have become accustomed to hourly changes in his status.
"It's been about three years now I've been getting asked the Brett Favre questions," said Tarvaris Jackson, who likely would take over as the Vikings' starting quarterback if Favre doesn't return. "It's kind of part of my life now. I actually might miss it."
Favre has considered retiring every summer since 2002. The famous waffling helped prompt the Green Bay Packers to trade him to the New York Jets in 2008. After a so-so season in New York, Favre announced his retirement in early 2009 for the second time then wound up signing with the Vikings.
Favre had one of his best seasons in 2009, with career bests in completion percentage (68.4), passer rating (107.2) and fewest interceptions (7), while throwing for 33 touchdowns and 4,202 yards to lead the Vikings (12-4) to an NFC North title. Most people around the NFL figured that Favre will come back for another run at what would be a third Super Bowl appearance.
"He is an emotional guy," Bevell said. "He does tell you how he's feeling. He is very honest. That's what I love about him and that's what a lot of people love about him. Sometimes it serves him well, sometimes it doesn't."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.