Vikes’ Peterson sprinting toward recovery

All the good news coming out of Eden Prairie, Minn., these days — especially where one Adrian Peterson is concerned — leaves us with one conclusion:

It’s too good to be true.

All the kudos in the world to Peterson for rehabbing so diligently to bounce back from the devastating knee injury he suffered late last season against Washington. But, as these things go, too much good news can almost be a bad thing. Players work feverishly to put an injury behind them, often returning to their normal pre-injury pace much too soon.

Thus, as Peterson keeps making headlines for every hurdle he clears, we can’t help but think that there’s a sharp shot of reality looming right around the corner. We wouldn’t be surprised if the league’s best running back has a setback in the near future. He is religiously committed to being at full strength for the Vikings’ 2012 opener Sept. 9.

At the team’s headquarters this spring, he’s surprised coaches and trainers with his progress, and they’ve all admitted it’s been a chore to extinguish Peterson’s burning desire to run, cut and lift weights like the AP of old.

“I was having a heck of a time holding him back,” head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman told the Star Tribune recently.

At this point, we’d confidently guess Peterson will be in the backfield for Week 1 — setbacks or no setbacks — even though that’s an ultra-aggressive timetable to overcome ACL and MCL tears. Still, Peterson is kind of super-human, and his singular focus is to help his team open the season by beating Jacksonville.

More from the Star Tribune:

Which leads to the one question that seems to confound Peterson: What happens if Sept. 9 arrives and he is not ready to play?

“I don’t know how to answer that question,” Peterson said. “And I struggle to even entertain it. Because that’s not the way my mind is tuned in. I can’t let that negativity seep in. My mindset is that I will be there. I want to be playing. Forget what everyone else says.”

OK.

So Sept. 9 remains the goal until it’s no longer possible. Then, if need be, Peterson will readjust.

“No,” Peterson asserted. “The goal is the goal. And I’m going to accomplish it.”

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