Forget all those recent reports that Adrian Peterson will be running again by the end of this month, barely two months after blowing his left knee out in a Christmas Eve win at Washington. This morning at the NFL Combine, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier did his best to set that record straight. Yes, Peterson has gone on several radio shows in recent weeks to provide progress reports on his rehabilitation. And yeah Peterson remains eager to accelerate the recovery process. But torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments don’t heal very quickly no matter how determined the patient may be.
So Frazier, Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman and others within the organization continue keeping close tabs on Peterson not wanting his admirable ambition to become reckless.
Said Frazier: “He’s very optimistic about where he is in his rehab and the progress he’s making. He’s come along. He’s right on schedule. And he feels he’s ahead of schedule. But we do have to temper his emotions at times. We talked about that yesterday.”
Peterson remains in Houston. Yet when Frazier initially heard Feb. 28 cited as a target date that Peterson noted to hopefully begin running again, the head coach recoiled. That was a topic of conversation when Frazier spoke with his star running back Thursday.
“He’s got to listen to what the doctors are telling him and the rehab specialists and go at their pace,” Frazier said. “There are steps to take before you actually start running. He has to go through those steps.”
Frazier said Peterson will begin running in the swimming pool well before he begins even considering running on land.
“We’ll see how he’s doing and how he’s responding to what he does in the pool before he actually begins to do some hard-surface running,” Frazier said. “But in his mind, he’s just about ready to go out and run sprints right now. But he’s not ready for that.”
Asked how nervous he is with the Vikings’ ongoing efforts to stimulate Peterson’s patience, Frazier expressed confidence that Peterson is getting the message.
“Early on I was really concerned – maybe the first two or three weeks,” Frazier said. “But he’s begun to understand that he’s got to listen to the doctors and go at the pace they expect him to and not try to force this. Because he can do more damage than he realizes. So he’s understanding now the importance of following the protocol and letting things play out the way they should.”