KMSP meteorologist Ian Leonard missed the November book, but now he's ready to get back to work.
The Pioneer Press reports that Leonard has been dealing with a changing forecast lately. But it's not the weather that's been unpredictable, it's his health. After being off the air for nine weeks due to a serious soccer injury, Leonard is returning to Fox 9 on Monday.
In early October, Leonard was playing goalie at a Minnesota United fantasy camp when he broke his nose.
"I was going up for a big glory save at the fantasy camp and as I was coming down, my nose inadvertently met somebody's forearm/fist and I broke my nose," said Leonard, who has been with Fox 9 since 2006.
Turns out his injury was more than a broken nose. Days after the accident, Leonard started to have double vision, dizziness and headaches. After seeing a neurologist, he was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome.
"It was something I'd never heard of before," he said. "I spent five weeks in my bedroom, in the dark not watching TV or being on the computer. They say brain rest is absolute in this thing."
Leonard was able to listen to music, digging into '70s B-sides and finding comfort in the Jason Mraz song "I Won't Give Up." Then on Nov. 30, he woke up to an early Christmas present -- he felt like himself again.
"My doctor said, 'One day, you're going to wake up and feel almost normal,' " Leonard said. "That was last Saturday. I woke up, cracked a joke and my wife looked at me with a puzzled look. She's like, 'Are you back?' And I said, 'Yeah, I think I'm back.' "
Leonard says friends and family, including his wife, Christy, and their two young daughters, have helped him through his recovery. Fox 9 anchor Jeff Passolt was a good friend along the way, too.
"He called me every single day to check on me," said Leonard, who goes to rehab for his concussion twice a week.
Viewers have showered Leonard with support, sending him cards and emails. He's looking forward to interacting with them again when he returns to work on Monday.
"I'm somehow going to have to return 3,000 emails," he laughed.
As for playing soccer again?
"My wife and I have decided there will be a ceremonial retiring of my goalie gloves and my cleats at some point in the spring," he said.