Brett Favre is telling ESPN he needs surgery on his left ankle to play another season for the Minnesota Vikings.
ESPN reported Friday that Favre is deciding whether to have the procedure or retire after 19 seasons.
The 40-year-old quarterback told the network in an e-mail the "sense of belonging" he enjoyed with the Vikings last year makes the decision difficult. Otherwise, he says, it would be easy to quit.
Favre says the injury he suffered three months ago in the NFC championship game still causes swelling and pain and that an operation is unavoidable.
Favre's agent Bus Cook didn't immediately return messages left by The Associated Press.
Vikings coach Brad Childress is expected to talk with reporters after the team's rookie minicamp later Friday.