On the 24th of December 2011, Minnesota Vikings superstar running back Adrian Peterson went down against the Washington Redskins with, at the time, what looked like quite a severe injury.
After the appropriate scans and medical tests on Peterson’s left knee, it was discovered he had completely torn his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), as well as his medial cruciate ligament (MCL). This prematurely ended another great Peterson season.
It has just about become common knowledge when you do such a devastating injury like this, in all walks of life let alone a professional athlete that runs for a living, that it’s at the very least an 11 to 12 month recovery process, and you may never be the same again.
All so-called NFL experts and even the Vikings themselves initially stated that Peterson would miss around the first half of this current NFL season.
He can’t come back and play the way he had up to that point in his career, they said. He certainly couldn’t play week one of the current NFL season, barely eight months after such a horrid injury.
Peterson, always the positive character, once stated his goal was to become the best footballer of all time, so was absolutely determined to make a remarkable recovery. With the help of brilliant surgery, medical aid and a winner’s attitude and work ethic, Peterson worked his backside off in the gym all off season to try and prove the doubters wrong by playing week one of the new NFL season.
Even after all his rapid and successful recovery process, the doubters were still there on the eve of the new season. At this stage however the Vikings had been monitoring all his work and started believing he could be back by season’s start and maybe, just maybe, he would be just as good.
Still it was criticised that he was going to start week one of the new season. People simply couldn’t believe it, not just the NFL experts but the majority of the NFL public.
Peterson stated in an interview before the week one clash that he wasn’t quite where he wanted to be, but still 95%. This further fuelled the doubters’ reasoning he shouldn’t play – that he needed to be 100%, not anything less.
Peterson was announced as a certain starter in week one. No one in history had ever recovered so fast from an injury quite like his, let alone managed to be at the same level they once were.
It was expected he would have limited carries, however that didn’t stop Peterson having a huge impact in rushing the ball on a below average 17 times at 4.9 yards per carry and scoring two game winning touchdowns.
It was just the beginning of possibly one of the greatest returns from injury ever seen.
After one game there were still those who weren’t convinced but, as the season has gone on, gradually Peterson has gotten better and better, to a point that has me convinced Adrian Peterson could pull a semi-trailer on a short sprint.
He’s currently having one of the best seasons of his already all-star career. He has run on the year an NFL high 1,446 yards, to currently a career high 6.2 yards per carry and yards per game of 120.5.
If Peterson continues with his yardage per game he will beat his best ever season for total rushing yards in a single season, which currently stands at 1,760, achieved in 2008.
What makes this even more impressive is the fact his was one of the worst kind of knee injuries to possibly return from, never mind doing it so fast and playing like nothing ever happened.
Peterson has stated himself that he feels fine, if not better than ever.
You look Adrian Peterson in the eye and tell him modern health science has not improved drastically, that hard work doesn’t always pay off and that a positive attitude isn’t that big of a deal. I dare anybody to do it!
Peterson has turned what should have been a half season of football at best, to potentially the greatest full season of NFL in his career. Certainly one of the greatest comebacks from injury I can recall. Ever.