Peterson rehab has Vikings optimistic

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 29, 2012 - 7:04 PM

The star running back soon will begin running on his surgically repaired left knee.

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. - Vikings coach Leslie Frazier delivered the update Wednesday with obvious enthusiasm. Adrian Peterson has hit the ground running.

Peterson has returned to the Twin Cities this week to begin the next phase of his knee rehabilitation. A little more than 12 weeks since having surgery to repair torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee, the star running back has been cleared to try running on land again.

Peterson is doing so this week under the watchful eye of head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman at Winter Park.

Frazier's assessment nearly three months into Peterson's rehab? Yes, it's still early. But so far, so good.

"Everything he's done up to this point has been very good," Frazier said. "So we're hoping once he starts running he'll stay on course as well."

At this point, that eye-opening and ambitious timeline Peterson set for his return has not had to be altered. The Vikings likely will open their 2012 season Sept. 9. And everyone within the organization still hopes Peterson will be able to play that day.

"That's what we're aiming for," Frazier said. "That's what he wants to see happen. That's what we'd all love to see happen. At the same time, we'll have to be smart and see where he is. This is the beginning stages of his running. So we'll have a better gauge in another one or two weeks as to what kind of progress he's going to make.

"We need to determine, is he going to have any swelling after the first time he runs and then when he begins cutting and turning and twisting? It's a long road ahead."

Sinking in, bouncing back

For Frazier, the severity of Peterson's injury didn't immediately register when Peterson took a handoff on the first play after halftime on Christmas Eve and felt his knee pop after a hit by Redskins cornerback DeJon Gomes.

Peterson's agony seemed obvious as he laid face down and twitching, his injured left leg bent like a pipe cleaner. Yet Frazier had a game to coach. So he wasn't able to fully wrap his brain around what had happened to his franchise running back until he had a chance to visit with Peterson on the flight home.

"To see the emotions in his face, that's when it began to sink in a little bit for me, that this was a career-threatening injury," Frazier said. "He's such a special guy. And I have such a personal affinity for him, it just made me determined, being around him at that moment, that if anyone can make it back, this guy can. But at the same time, you felt a sense of loss to a degree."

Peterson's expression on that sobering flight remains ingrained in Frazier's mind.

"He was pretty strong and trying to be encouraging," Frazier said. "But you could tell something was missing. He's such a jubilant guy, especially after a win. And he was so serious as we were having this conversation."

On the rise

It wasn't long before Peterson transformed the acceptance of his injury into a fiery ambition to return to full strength as quickly as possible. Yet Frazier, Sugarman and the therapists Peterson has been working with in Houston have issued consistent reminders that the driven running back can't rush the recovery timeline.

Slowly but surely, that message has sunk in, enabling Peterson's progress to remain on an upward climb. To this point, Frazier said, Peterson has "exceeded expectations." But the operative phrase there is "to this point."

"It's too early right now to say that he's going to absolutely make it back by the first game," Frazier said. "But so far, he's on target with everything we've asked him to do."

In the meantime, Frazier and General Manager Rick Spielman continue hunting for added backfield depth. The Vikings are firm in their belief that Toby Gerhart can be a reliable starter in Peterson's absence. But having let Lorenzo Booker go in free agency, the search for a third back will continue.

So, too, will the team's ongoing evaluations of Peterson's recuperation.

Said Frazier: "He's a guy who wants to defy the odds with this injury. He wants to do things when he comes back that no one with an ACL tear has ever done."

To this point, Peterson's focus and work ethic have continued to fill the Vikings' optimism tank.

  • related content

  • Frazier still covets a speedy receiver

    Wednesday March 28, 2012

    The Vikings have made only one offseason move with their receiving corps -- last week's re-signing of Devin Aromashodu, who coach Leslie Frazier said had a few bigger money offers...

  • Chart: NFL rules changes

    Wednesday March 28, 2012

    • All games that go into overtime cannot end on a field goal on the first possession. The opposing team must get one series, and if it also kicks a...

  • Adrian Peterson

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 7 1st Qtr 7:23
Jacksonville 0
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 18 1st Qtr 1:42
Chicago 24
New Orleans 7:30 PM
Houston
Milwaukee 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Golden State
Florida 1 2nd Prd :15
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 3rd Prd
Pittsburgh 0
Toronto 0 2nd Prd 3:45
Carolina 2
Washington 2 2nd Prd 3:05
Columbus 2
Anaheim 1 1st Prd 6:33
Montreal 0
St. Louis 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Edmonton 9:30 PM
San Jose
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 36 2nd Half 8:33
Canisius 41
Temple 75 2nd Half 3:55
Delaware 56
FIU 53 2nd Half 1:57
Long Island 65
Lehigh 52 2nd Half 3:34
Quinnipiac 74
South Alabama 48 2nd Half 3:52
Richmond 52
Seton Hall 70 2nd Half 9:15
South Florida 55
Ga Southern 67 2nd Half 2:29
Stetson 61
Yale 50 2nd Half 4:16
Vermont 47
Cleveland State 45 2nd Half 4:40
Virginia 64
Wright State 59 2nd Half 4:29
Western Carolina 51
Nicholls 32 2nd Half 17:27
Louisiana Tech 45
Morgan State 27 2nd Half
Rider 29
Idaho State 35 2nd Half 14:00
South Dakota St 36
Oakland City 12 1st Half 5:53
Austin Peay 28
Eureka 14 1st Half 7:35
Bradley 29
Appalachian St 25 1st Half 5:06
Charlotte 23
Connecticut 15 1st Half 6:41
Duke 20
Southern Miss 8 1st Half 8:20
Jackson State 22
Coastal Carolina 35 1st Half 4:16
Ole Miss 20
Montana State 7 1st Half 18:16
South Dakota 0
LSU 8:00 PM
UAB
Ohio 8:05 PM
Evansville
CS-Dominguez 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Walla Walla 9:00 PM
Idaho
DePaul 9:00 PM
Oregon State
Nevada 9:00 PM
Pacific
Portland State 9:00 PM
San Francisco
CS-Bakersfield 9:05 PM
Utah State
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
UCLA 67
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 50 2nd Half 5:05
USC 79
St Francis-PA 47 2nd Half 5:35
Duquesne 78
Indiana-Southeast 42 2nd Half 4:55
IUPUI 83
Delaware State 38 2nd Half 11:38
Detroit 62
Tenn Temple 45 2nd Half 2:56
Gardner-Webb 64
West Virginia St 52 2nd Half 2:14
Radford 52
Fairfield 45 2nd Half 2:33
Seton Hall 74
Dartmouth 41 2nd Half 2:58
New Hampshire 59
Ball State 45 2nd Half 1:45
Pittsburgh 55
Jacksonville 51 2nd Half 7:38
Tennessee St 47
Trine 39 2nd Half 3:57
Western Mich 77
Tenn Tech 27 2nd Half 14:52
Lipscomb 38
Samford 4 1st Half 17:43
Tulane 0
New Orleans 13 1st Half 6:20
Tulsa 27
Incarnate Word 25 1st Half 3:59
TX-Pan American 22
Ark-Little Rock 13 1st Half 4:00
South Dakota St 24
CS-Northridge 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
Santa Clara 8:00 PM
Oregon
(19) Oklahoma St 8:00 PM
Weber State
Washington 8:00 PM
San Diego State
Cal Poly 8:00 PM
New Mexico
(10) Louisville 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close