Vikings running back Adrian Peterson didn't let surgery on a torn anterior cruciate ligament in late December 2011 ruin his 2012 season.
He spent last offseason tirelessly rehabilitating his left knee and came back just in time to be the Week 1 starter for the regular season.
This offseason, Peterson's open-throttle work ethic is once again being tested by surgery. Peterson had sports hernia surgery following the Vikings' playoff appearance and is just about fully recovered from the surgery, according to head coach Leslie Frazier.
Frazier appeared on NFL Network Wednesday morning and was asked if Peterson has been asked to slow it down a bit this offseason.
"It's kind of happened not by his choice. As you know, he had the abdominal strain late in the season and that's kind of slowed him this offseason as far as being able to kick it into overdrive and being able to do things the way he wants to do it," Frazier told NFL Network. "So that's kind of slowed him down a little bit, but he's just about back to 100 percent, doing everything that he needs to be able to do to be in the best shape he can possibly be for this season."
The Vikings don't have any major concerns with his recovery. After all, he returned from his knee surgery and was the NFL's Most Valuable Player for 2012 after rushing for a 2,097 yards, just 8 yards shy of the NFL single-season record. That included rushing for more than 100 yards in nine of the final 10 regular-season games, including seven in which he went over 150 yards. The only time he was held to fewer than 100 yards rushing in the second half of the season was when he was limited for the Dec. 23 game against the Houston Texans because of the sports hernia.
Peterson also carried the ball more than 20 times in each of his final five regular-season games while dealing with his sports hernia throughout much of the second half of the season.
Does that mean the Vikings would like to rely a little less on Peterson and a little more on the passing game and quarterback Christian Ponder?
"We'd like to be a little more balanced. We obviously pride ourselves on being able to run the football and being able to stop the run on defense, but we think in order for us to take that next step as a team and as an offense, we need to be able to create that balance by being able to pass the ball a little bit better," Frazier said. "We think with the acquisition of Greg (Jennings), along with what we did in the draft with C.P. (Cordarrelle Patterson) and then some of the other guys that are coming back – a healthy Jerome Simpson – our tight end position with Kyle Rudolph, we think we're going to be a better team throwing the football, which should hopefully open up some more holes for Adrian."
Even Frazier and general manager Rick Spielman were amazed at Peterson's ability to play through a sport hernia during the second half of last season.
"He'd go out and play on Sunday, I was just like, ‘Amazing!' ACL, sports hernia and to play the way he played," Frazier said at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. "The surgery, it's like a piece of cake after ACL and what he was able to accomplish. He's unique. He's very unique."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
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