Vikings' Adrian Peterson to begin running this week: 'He's on target'
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PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Adrian Peterson is scheduled to begin running this week. For real this time.
Last month, Peterson said in multiple interviews he was ready to run less than two months after undergoing knee reconstruction, prompting Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier to call his star halfback and tell him not to rush his rehabilitation.
That rehabilitation has remained on target, Frazier said on Wednesday at the NFL meetings, and Peterson is back in Minnesota with the Vikings' training staff this week as he prepares to take the next step -- moving from jogging in a pool to dryland.
"He's supposed to start running this week," Frazier said. "We'll get a better gauge of where he is once he starts running. But everything he's done up to this point has been very good."
Peterson, 27, tore the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his left knee on Dec. 24 at Washington. He underwent surgery six days later with Dr. James Andrews, who selected the therapists Peterson has been working with much of the offseason at his home in Houston.
Eric Sugarman, the Vikings' head athletic trainer, has been in daily contact with Peterson and visited him in Houston as well. Running this week would match the timeline Sugarman laid out for reporters in January, saying it would take about three months for the patella tendon from which Peterson's new ACL was grafted to be strong enough.
"This is the beginning stages of running," Frazier said. "So, we'll have a better gauge in another, let's say, one or two weeks as to what kind of progress he's going to make. But we've got to determine if he's going to have any swelling after the first time he runs, when he begins cutting and turning and twisting."
The Vikings continue to hope for Peterson to play in Week 1, but Frazier acknowledged last month Peterson may be highly limited early on. Frazier said on Wednesday the Vikings are moving forward with contingency plans to add a third back who could play a significant role behind Toby Gerhart whether Peterson makes it back or not.
"It's too early right now to say that he's going to absolutely make it back by the first game," Frazier said. "But so far, he's on target with everything we've asked him to do."