In an update given by head coach Leslie Frazier yesterday, it was announced that Adrian Peterson’s recovery is slightly ahead of schedule and he will begin running on land this week. As we all know unfortunately, Peterson tore both his ACL and MCL on Christmas Eve last season in a game against the Washington Redskins. While the injury was quite serious and “career-ending” for some, Peterson set an incredibly optimistic goal for himself to play the first game of the 2012 season. Well, it looks like that just may happen.

When prompted about the possibility of Peterson returning for game #1, Frazier said, “That’s what we’re aiming for. That’s what he wants to see happen. That’s what we’d all love to see happen. At the same time, we’ll have to be smart and see where he is. This is the beginning stages of his running. So we’ll have a better gauge in another one or two weeks as to what kind of progress he’s going to make.”

It’s great to see that Peterson may be able to return and immediately contribute at the start of the 2012 season. It is even better to see that Frazier seems determined not to rush the franchise running back into action to quickly. Forcing the issue would be very dangerous for Peterson and the overall future of the team.

I said it shortly after Peterson sustained the injury: “If anyone can come back from this injury stronger than before, Adrian can.” And not only do I still stand by that statement, but it seems that proving he can be better than before the injury is one of Peterson’s bigger motivations. In an interview Thursday, GM Rick Spielman said, “He’s not like most running backs that I’ve been around through my career… He is just a freak athletically and you can see that in his rehab and how quickly he’s coming back from this ACL and I know he wants to go out there and prove to everybody he’s a better Adrian Peterson than he was before the injury.”

While the odds are definitely stacked against #28, it will be a storyline we watch closely here at Vikings Territory throughout the offseason and up to kickoff of the first game of the 2012 season.

What do you all think? Will Adrian Peterson be back for the 2012 opener?