In the final devastating blow of the woeful 3-13 Vikings season, Adrian Peterson tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee in week 16 against the Washington Redskins. The typical recovery time for torn knee ligaments is about one year, but that is for a normal athlete and Peterson is not just any normal athlete.
Peterson has been making the media rounds since last week and has said he intends to start running on Feb. 28 and ultimately plans be ready for the start of the season.
“Right now my goal is to be back by the first, the regular-season opener,” Peterson said on The Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday. “That’s my goal.”
That would be a recovery time of 8 months. Quite a lofty goal considering a running back, especially one who runs as hard as Peterson, needs full motion of his knees to do his job.
But Peterson is an incredible and hard working athlete whose body allowed him to get on the right path quickly. Less than a week after the injury, the swelling in Peterson’s knee had receded and he had full range of motion back which allowed the doctors to perform the surgery much sooner than expected.
Peterson’s progress has continued that same way. “Right now, I am ahead of schedule,” said Peterson.
Last year was easily Peterson’s worst as a pro. His 2011 season was the first year he failed to rush for less than 1,200 yards, and the first time he didn’t make the Pro Bowl. Injuries including a high ankle sprain and an ACL/MCL tear kept him out of the majority of four games leading to his decline in production, but an aging and mediocre offensive line and a rookie quarterback couldn’t have helped.
Peterson, well known for his excellent work ethic, said he has bumped heads with his physical therapist in Houston who wants to keep Peterson’s expectations grounded.
“He’s making sure I’m doing the right things.” Peterson said. “It feels strong, but he doesn’t want me to push it too much.”