Sportress of Blogitude

Adrian Peterson says he’s ‘extremely hungry’ to play, but will be cautious

Adrian Peterson on Thursday said he’s “extremely hungry” to get back on the field after practicing consecutive days. Despite the Minnesota Vikings running back’s professed desire to return to action, though, it nevertheless remains unlikely he’ll play in Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Peterson, 31, is attempting to make a remarkable comeback from a torn meniscus suffered earlier this season. After undergoing surgery on Sept. 22, it’s impressive in and of itself that Peterson is even practicing, let alone expressing optimism about playing this season, something he made sure to remind reporters.

“The injury is a four- to six-month injury,” Peterson said after Thursday’s practice, via the Star Tribune’s Matt Vensel. “In my mind, I’m telling myself that it’s 100 percent healed. But I really won’t know until I look and see it in images [from medical testing]. With that, you’ve got to be smart about how you approach everything going ahead.

“… I’m extremely hungry to get out there and help these guys win.”

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer made it clear earlier in the day that Peterson won’t be allowed to play until he’s thoroughly cleared by the team’s medical staff.

Peterson, who said his first two practices “went pretty smoothly,” said he plans to continue wearing a titanium knee brace despite the fact it is “a little uncomfortable.”

The 31-year-old back previously stated he wouldn’t play this season unless the 7-6 Vikings remained in playoff contention, which they are, albeit as something of a long shot. He again reiterated Thursday that the Dec. 24 game against the Green Bay Packers is the target for his possible return.

“I’m just going to continue to take it one day at a time, and when that time comes as a group we’ll sit down and talk and see which direction is best to go in,” he said.

The Vikings will have to win out to have a legitimate shot at reaching the postseason. Should Minnesota fail to secure a victory against the Colts, Peterson’s impressive efforts to return to action may in essence be a moot point in many respects.