After tearing his ACL and his MCL on Christmas Eve last year, Adrian Peterson remained hopeful about returning to uniform for the start of the Minnesota Vikings’ 2012 season. Six months later, it’s still in the air as to whether or not the Vikings’ All-Pro running back will be playing that first game against Jacksonville in September.
Head coach Leslie Frazier said that the season opener against Jacksonville, still about two-and-a-half months out, is still too far away for the Vikings or Peterson to be able to tell exactly what will happen. “I don’t know if we’ll put him on the practice field any time soon when we get to Mankato,” Frazier said in an ESPN Radio appearance. “But everything indicates there’s a very good chance he may be ready for that Jacksonville game.”
“When you compare him to other guys that have had ACL injuries, he’s just so far ahead of where they would be at the same time.” Frazier also said optimistically of Peterson’s recovery.
At this point in time, though, it’s still looking like Toby Gerhart will have to carry most of the load for the Vikings in the start of the 2012 season. Frazier’s worries are what will happen to Peterson should someone dive at his ankle or grab his knee, which seems like a reasonable worry. It’s the sort of event you just can’t predict.
Adrian Peterson, however, is not feeling the cautious approach. “He thinks he’s ready to go now,” Frazier said. “He keeps telling [us] we need to let him do this, let him do that. I said, ‘Man, you’ve still got a little time here, Adrian. We don’t play until early September.’ But that probably will be the biggest challenge. Just like it was when he began his rehab. He gets out of the hospital, he wants to try to jog. He wants to try to do things that there’s no way you could do. But he’s unique.”
But don’t think the Vikings will give in to the temptation to let Peterson talk his way back onto the field. They’ve invested a lot in him and feel it’s a safer bet in the long run to give him more time to recover.
If he doesn’t take the time he needs to recover, it could jeopardize the rest of his career. He needs to take it slow and not push it. Fans want to see him back in fighting shape as quickly as possible, but not before he is ready. I’d say it’ll be a few weeks into the season before he is really ready to get in there and play.
As always, we will have to remain optimistic and see what happens!
Good luck in your recovery, Adrian! But don’t rush it!