** FILE ** Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre watches a replay on a stadium video monitor during the second half of an NFL football game on in this
** FILE ** Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre watches a replay on a stadium video monitor during the second half of an NFL football game on in this Dec. 21, 2006 photo in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) _ Brett Favre will return for his 17th NFL season, undeterred by his injuries and hoping to lead the Green Bay Packers back to the playoffs.

''I am so excited about coming back,'' the 37-year-old quarterback said Friday on the Web site of the Sun Herald in Biloxi, Miss. ''We have a good nucleus of young players. We were 8-8 last year, and that's encouraging.''

Packers general manager Ted Thompson confirmed Favre had told the team he plans to return.

''The Packers are excited by his decision and look forward to a successful 2007 campaign,'' Thompson said in a statement.

The team scheduled a 4 p.m. EST news conference Friday.

''My offensive line looks good, the defense played good down the stretch,'' Favre told the Biloxi newspaper. ''I'm excited about playing for a talented young football team.''

The news came as a surprise to Packers CEO Bob Harlan.

''I hadn't heard it, and I hadn't seen the Biloxi paper _ not that I read the Biloxi paper every day,'' Harlan told The Associated Press on Friday.

Favre last left the field in an emotional scene in Chicago after leading the Packers to a victory to finish the season 8-8.

He has started 257 consecutive games including the playoffs, an NFL record for quarterbacks. Favre broke Dan Marino's record for career completions (4,967) in 2006 and is closing in on Marino's marks for career touchdown passes (420) and yards passing (61,361).

As he has done in the past several offseasons, Favre returned to his home in Mississippi after the season to deliberate about his future. Last year, Favre waited until late April to tell the team he was returning.

Favre complained about nagging injuries and the drudgery of practice toward the end of last season, then choked back tears as he talked about missing the game and missing his teammates in a television interview immediately after the regular-season finale in Chicago _ leading many to believe he intended to retire.

Apparently, he couldn't resist one more chance to try to lead the Packers back to the playoffs after the Packers won their final four games and were in playoff contention until the final weekend of the regular season.

Favre has led the Packers to 10 postseason appearances, six division titles, three NFC Championship games, two Super Bowls and one championship following the 1996 season.

Favre was acquired in a trade by former Packers general manager Ron Wolf after one season as a backup in Atlanta in 1991. He completed his first NFL pass _ to himself _ on Sept. 13, 1992, catching a deflection and losing seven yards.

The following week, he replaced injured starter Don Majkowski in the third quarter and led the Packers to a come-from-behind 24-23 victory over Cincinnati.

Favre started in place of Majkowski on Sept. 27, 1992, beginning the streak he often has called his biggest personal accomplishment. The 237-game regular-season streak is nearly six seasons ahead of the Colts' Peyton Manning at 144.

Favre's accomplishments include winning three league MVP awards _ he shared 1997 honors with Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders _ and throwing two touchdown passes in a 35-21 victory over the New England Patriots in the 1997 Super Bowl to give the Packers their first championship in 29 years. Earlier in that championship season, Favre spent time in the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kan., battling an addiction to painkillers.

Favre led the Packers back to the Super Bowl the following season, but they lost to Elway's Denver Broncos 31-24.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.