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Updated: April 26th, 2012 8:39pm
'I can't believe it:' Adrian Peterson wows Vikings by winning footrace

'I can't believe it:' Adrian Peterson wows Vikings by winning footrace

by Tom Pelissero
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Adrian Peterson continues impressing people with the pace of his rehabilitation. Even his teammates.

Players returned to Winter Park on Monday for the start of the offseason strength and conditioning program. Peterson, the star halfback who is recovering from reconstructive surgery on his left knee, was also in town for rehab -- but ended up doing more than that.

"He was off to the side working with our trainer, Eric Sugarman, and he looked out and saw the guys doing their wind sprints," coach Leslie Frazier said on Thursday night.

"He says, 'You know, I don't think they're running hard enough.' Eric allowed him to go out and run with them, and he passed them four different times. He finished in first four different times."

This, from a player less than four months removed from major surgery following tears to his anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament on Dec. 24 at Washington.

He began dryland running about a month ago, keeping in line with the rehab program Sugarman laid out in January the Vikings hope will have Peterson ready for their Sept. 9 opener against Jacksonville.

"I remember (backup quarterback) Joe Webb saying, 'I can't believe it. I just can't believe it,'" Frazier said. "So, he's doing great and we're optimistic that he's going to be ready for that first game. I know that's his goal and we'll just see how he continues to progress, but he's doing great."

Peterson has begun some cutting, Frazier said, "but that's the next step. He has to get to the point where he's comfortable cutting. Straight ahead, he's doing great. Now he has to get to the point where he's comfortable being able to go left to right or right to left and stopping and starting. So, one step at a time."

Frazier said there were no surprise injuries when players returned. According to Frazier, only three or four players on the roster haven't been participating in the voluntary workouts -- the best attendance in his time with the Vikings.

That list includes end Jared Allen and receiver Percy Harvin, who underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery on Tuesday as scheduled but is expected to be ready when organized team activity practices begin on May 29.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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