Vikings want Peterson to be careful in rehab

Published Apr. 3, 2012 3:38 p.m. EDT

EDINA, Minn. — Adrian Peterson ran last week for the first time since knee surgery, and the Minnesota Vikings staff was pleased with the results.

"Did a great job and everybody was impressed," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Tuesday while attending an Athletes in Action luncheon with longtime friend Tony Dungy. "Our trainer, (Eric) Sugarman, was impressed with his movement and the things he was able to do. He's on schedule. He's doing well."

Peterson, 27, underwent surgery Dec. 30 to repair a torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee, stemming from a hit in a Dec. 24 game against the Washington Redskins. Peterson has spent much of the past three months rehabilitating near his home in Houston but was in Minnesota last week and showed off his progress.

Sugarman has been in constant contact with Peterson during the process, and Peterson so far has met the timeline provided by Sugarman in January. Peterson returned to Houston but is expected to be back at the Vikings' facility in two weeks.

Peterson said on the "Dan Patrick Show" in February that would start running at the end of that month, but Frazier had cautioned Peterson to take things slowly and follow the time line of his rehab program. Frazier, whose playing career essentially was ended by a knee injury, reiterated Tuesday he's advising Peterson to proceed with caution as he returns to running.

"We had that conversation, too," Frazier said. "He said, ‘How fast should I go?' We're just trying to judge movement, and he wants to run a 4.3 40 (-yard dash). But he has to let that graft continue to heal. He understands there's a time frame he's working within, and so far, so good."

Peterson has said he wants to be ready for the first game of the 2012 season. He played 12 games last season, finishing with 970 yards rushing, the first time in his career he fell short of 1,000. He scored 13 total touchdowns last season, tied for the second-highest total in his career.

Frazier also said running back Toby Gerhart, who injured his left knee in the season finale, will be ready when the team begins offseason training activities May 29. Gerhart's injury didn't require surgery, and the 2010 second-round pick will be leaned on as Peterson is eased back into action.

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