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Updated: December 15th, 2011 2:47pm
Adrian Peterson plans to return Sunday after three-game absence

Adrian Peterson plans to return Sunday after three-game absence

by Judd Zulgad
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Adrian Peterson had good news Thursday for those who have him on their fantasy football team: The running back is planning to play Sunday against New Orleans after a three-game absence.

"They've been giving me a hard time on Twitter," Peterson said of those who rely on him in their fantasy leagues.

Peterson, who hasn't played since suffering a high left ankle sprain on Nov. 20 against Oakland, said he has been fielding questions from owners who want to know if they should play him. 

At times it has gone beyond that.

Among the oddest tweets Peterson has received? "I'll send my wife down to visit with you," Peterson said of one. "It's like, 'Wow.' Some of the stuff I read on there is crazy."

Peterson, who has rushed for 872 yards on 186 carries with 11 touchdowns in 10 games, has run for more than 1,000 yards in each of his first four NFL seasons. He acknowledged he's not at 100 percent but put the figure at 85 percent, adding, "I feel like I'm good enough to play."

Coach Leslie Frazier sounds as if he agrees.

"The way he's moving around, some of the things that really concerned him a week ago at this time don't seem to concern him as much. Nor does it concern us," Frazier said. "So if he has another good day (Friday) we should be in the clear.

"But I'm going to talk to him again (Friday)morning, just to see how he came out of today's practice. He had a little soreness at the beginning of practice today, but he moved around really well. As long as he finishes good tomorrow, we should be in great shape."

Peterson was listed as limited in practice Thursday for the second day in a row, but because the media isn't allowed to watch the entire session it's impossible to know how much or how little work he did. 

"There were some runs today that looked like the Adrian we're accustomed to seeing," Frazier said. "Last week they were few and far between, but today, for sure, there were a couple of bursts along the sideline where he had to cut against the grain. We didn't see that last week. We saw it today."

Peterson said he does not expect to be limited on Sunday and knows he likely will have to endure some pain in the ankle. However, that beats missing another game. 

"Just being out, it sucks," he said. "Seeing my guys go out and compete and fall short week after week. Just wishing I was out there, just to help those guys compete. I love this game. So no matter if our record is what it is now, 2-11, or where it is, if I'm healthy, I'm going to go out and play. That's been my mindset since the beginning. We've got three weeks left and I'm going to be a part of it."

Peterson did say that he does respond to some of the fans who tweet at him.

"I kind of pick and choose who I respond to," he said. "Some things are better left alone, but I respond to (some)."

Peterson was among five players limited in practice for the Vikings on Thursday.

Wide receiver Greg Camarillo, who sat out Wednesday after suffering a concussion in Sunday's loss at Detroit, passed the necessary tests and was able to do some work.

Linebacker E.J. Henderson (shoulder), safety Jarrad Page (hip) and defensive tackle Letroy Guion (ankle) also were limited. Guion was a new addition to the injury report on Thursday.

Cornerback Asher Allen (shoulder) and quarterback Christian Ponder (hip) continue to be listed on the injury report but have not missed any practice time this week. Seems like he's going to be fine."

"He's moving around pretty good," Frazier said of Ponder. "Actually scrambled a couple of times in practice so that was good to see.

Judd Zulgad is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Judd | @1500ESPNJudd | Mackey & Judd
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