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By: Sam Ekstrom | KFAN.com
After a hectic offseason in 2012, Adrian Peterson’s recovery from sports hernia surgery has been, comparatively, a piece of cake.
“I’m feeling good. I’m feeling strong. I’m feeling 100 percent,” said Peterson after Thursday’s practice. “I’m ready to roll when training camp comes around.”
The same couldn’t be said last year at this time. Peterson was on the mend after a Dec. 24, 2011 ACL tear that kept him from practicing until the following August.
Seemingly at full strength on Thursday, Peterson participated in the 11-on-11 offensive drills and looked like his normal shifty and elusive self.
“Definitely more relaxing,” said Peterson about this offseason. “But [I’m ] definitely still focused and working hard.”
Based on Peterson’s plans for the next month, it doesn’t sound like “relaxing” is really on the agenda. There are no breaks for a reigning NFL MVP.
“I’m going to crank it up, actually,” said Peterson. “Crank it up and really bust my tail and be ready for training camp.”
“To be great, you’ve got to put in a lot of work, and I know that. That’s why I work as hard as I do.”
Peterson’s MVP award is the manifestation of the hard work he’s put in. The 28-year-old returned from his ACL injury in less than nine months and ran for 2,097 yards last season—the second greatest rushing campaign of all time.
Peterson has proclaimed several times this offseason that he is shooting for 2,500 rushing yards, which would more than shatter the 29-year-old record held by Eric Dickerson. But that’s not the only lofty goal on the running back’s mind.
“Super Bowl,” said Peterson. “I know that’s the goal as a group. I feel like we’ve got the right pieces in place, and everyone has that vision in their minds, so that’s the ultimate goal.”
The sky appears to be the limit for Peterson who may now be as healthy as he’s been since the middle of the 2011 season. Head coach Leslie Frazier couldn’t be happier that No. 28 is at full speed entering training camp.
“The health of Adrian Peterson makes us all smile,” said Frazier. “Good for him. Good for us. One less thing that we have to deal with.”
Frazier did add that they’ll try to give Peterson some rests on occasion, assuming Peterson—the proclaimed workhorse—will allow it.
Said Frazier, “We kind of know what he’s capable of doing. He knows the offense, so every now and then we’re going to pick our spots and say, ‘Let the other guys handle it.’ We’ll do that from time to time.”
The Vikings will now break mini-camp and disperse for about five weeks before beginning training camp on July 25 in Mankato.
As for Peterson, before he ratchets up his summer workouts, he’ll be celebrating the seventh annual Adrian Peterson Day in his hometown of Palestine, TX.
“I’m going back home to be around family and friends I grew up with, and I’m going to have some good barbecue,” said Peterson.