While the big Vikings news on the field was the workout Adrian Peterson performed for the media Wednesday, with the great running back trying to show how much progress he has made since having knee surgery last December, there also was good news about backup running back Toby Gerhart.
Gerhart also suffered a knee injury last season and will be the starting running back if Peterson is not ready to play when the season opens.
"It was a [medial collateral ligament] tear and a little bit of the meniscus, but over time it's healed and no surgery was required," said Gerhart, who said he is close to being 100 percent and is doing his normal offseason work. "... Everything feels pretty good. I spent my offseason, the majority of the time out here doing some rehab stuff after the season. Then I spent the last couple weeks in California training at my high school and getting ready to come back out here."
Could he play in a game if there was one this week?
"I believe I could. I could suck it up and do it," he said. "I'm preparing to go out there and be the guy and, you know, hold down the reins as long as Adrian isn't out there. Until he gets out there healthy, I'll be prepared to do what's necessary."
Michael Irvin, the Hall of Fame receiver for the Cowboys now working as an analyst for the NFL Network, said his crew was going to film Peterson going through his rehabilitation drills in Texas, but the Vikings decided to hold it here.
After watching Peterson perform his rehab exercises, Irvin said that, when he tore his ACL in his second year with the Cowboys, Peterson is making a much quicker recovery than he did.
Honoring Carl Platou
The Who's Who of the Twin Cities attended a luncheon Wednesday at TCF Bank Stadium to honor a great man in Carl Platou, who was given an outstanding achievement award by the University of Minnesota and found out the school is naming their fabulous new research center, which he made possible by helping raise $125 million to build it, the Carl Platou Biomedical Discovery District.
University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler and Linda Cohen, the chair of the university Board of Regents, awarded Platou the "State of Minnesota Commendation" award.
Daniel K. Anderson, president of Fairview community hospitals, talked Wednesday about how Platou transformed health care in Minnesota. There even was a greeting from King Harald V of Norway -- Platou has visited the country many times -- read by Walter Mondale, the former vice president of the United States.
Then Robert Pohlad, chairman of the medical school's Dean's Board of Visitors, gave a speech about Platou entitled "A Passion for the University of Minnesota."
The reason I am writing about this great man in my sports column is because during his long career as a CEO of many hospitals, he always made sure his people found time to treat many athletes, both amateur and pro, during his many years of service. I'd get a call or bump into him, and he would say we can help that athlete who he heard was injured, and he did.
Unfortunately this great man, who I believe has more friends than anybody in this town if the attendance at Wednesday's luncheon was any indication, is battling cancer. A lot of people, including myself, say a little prayer each night, hoping he can win this battle. And believe me, no one has won more battles than he has in making this a great medical center.
• Some of the University of Minnesota regents have been talking about the possibility of tearing down the Indoor Fieldhouse on University Avenue and replacing it with a more modern Sports Pavilion that would house all of the men's and women's non-revenue sports.
• Tom Stillman was named the new owner of the St. Louis Blues this week. Stillman attended Edina High School and the University of Minnesota Law School and is now chairman and CEO of St. Louis-based beer distributor Summit Distributing.
• Former Bemidji State basketball player James Ellisor worked out for the Timberwolves in a closed tryout Wednesday. Ellisor, a 6-5 forward, was the Daktronics Division II national player of the year last year after averaging 21.9 points per game.
• As of Tuesday night, two of the Twins' top prospects, Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario, lead or were among league leaders in multiple categories for the Class A Beloit Snappers. Sano, batting .304, leads the Midwest League in home runs with 10, leads in RBI with 32, is second in the league lead in walks with 20 and also leads the league with 39 strikeouts. Sano also is second in the league with a .421 on-base percentage and leads the league with a .670 slugging percentage.
Rosario, batting .297, is tied for fourth in doubles with 11, is tied for third in walks with 19 and is sixth in the league with a .400 OBP.
• In the USHL playoffs, Gophers recruit Taylor Cammarata is fifth in scoring with seven goals and three assists in 10 games for Waterloo, who will play Green Bay in the Clark Cup Finals starting this weekend. ... Also playing for the Black Hawks is Gophers recruit A.J. Michaelson, who has two goals and four assists.
• Frontier Field, home of the Twins' Class AAA Rochester (N.Y.) affiliate, set a regular-season attendance record of 13,584 Sunday to see Boston's Pawtucket farm team beat the Yankees' Scranton/Wilkes-Barre affiliate 7-5. The draw was Scranton lefthander Andy Pettitte, who gave up five runs in five innings in a rehab start on assignment from the Yankees. The game was played in Rochester because the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre stadium is being rebuilt, and Rochester will play host to more games during the renovation.
• On the ex-Gopher minor league baseball front, Mike Kvasnicka, who was an infielder in college and has been switched to catcher, is struggling in his second season with the Lexington Legends, the Class A affiliate of the Houston Astros. Kvasnicka is hitting .152 but does have two home runs and eight RBI. Also playing for Lexington is former Gophers outfielder Justin Gominsky, who is hitting .200 with three RBI and five runs scored in 16 games.
Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. firstname.lastname@example.org