The Minnesota Vikings are hopeful to have Adrian Peterson back for the first game of the 2012 season but head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman talked about the running back being ready for “the beginning portion of next season.”
The bottom line is the Vikings don’t know yet what is in store for their franchise running back after he suffered a torn ACL and torn MCL in his left knee in Sunday’s victory over the Washington Redskins.
“We're going to hold a goal to have him ready for the first game, although I ask you for permission to please allow Coach (Leslie Frazier) to update that process as we go through the protocol,” Sugarman said in his first comments to the press since 2007, according to ESPN 1500. “The goal is around eight to nine months. Around eight months is going to be probably our first game. We do think that the potential is to have him ready for the beginning portion of next season.”
Peterson, who was hit by Redskins safety DeJon Gomes when he was injured, also has “some injury” to his medial and lateral meniscus, according to the report.
“Most importantly, all the chrondral surface in his knee is also non-injured,” Sugarman said, “and that's a very positive thing for this injury.”
Peterson has not scheduled surgery yet and it’s key for the swelling to go down beforehand. Some believe that pre-hab – working out before the surgery – aids in a faster rehabilitation. Sugarman doesn’t want to compare Peterson to other players.
“Instead of comparing Adrian to any other player at any level that's ever had an anterior cruciate ligament (injury), and they happen every day,” he said, “I really would like Adrian to stand on his own merit, because Adrian is, I feel, very unique, and if there's anyone that's going to be able to recover from this injury.
“You may ask, why? It's because Adrian has a great work ethic. Adrian has the DNA to heal quickly, which he has shown in he past. He certainly will have the desire and the mental toughness to be able to get through the rehab process, which will take months and months as you know.”
Of course, it's also possible Peterson will wind up beginning the season on the physically unable to perform list, which would sideline him into at least October.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune