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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Adrian Peterson in the clear

The Vikings held an informational session at Winter Park today to explain exactly where prized rookie RB Adrian Peterson is at with his shoulder injury.
Specifically, Peterson has a left clavicle fracture. But team doctor Joel Boyd and trainer Eric Sugarman made clear that Peterson is healing naturally and will not require surgery at this time.
A CT scan on Tuesday compelled Boyd and Sugarman to share this information with reporters today.
"I feel good," Peterson said. "It hasn’t been giving me any problems. So it’s good news."
If Peterson had a plate inserted, he would have been out three to six months.
"The fracture is well on its way, and now it would be best to let it heal in a natural way," Boyd said. "At ths point and time, I’m not anticipating that he’s going to require surgery for it."
Sugarman and coach Brad Childress said Peterson will not be at all limited when training camp begins in late July, and he also is fully participating in the off-season conditioning program now.
The team will make a custom device for Peterson. But Sugarman said it will be hard to even notice.
Asked what Peterson can do to aid healing, Childress said, "Drink milk."
Interestingly, Sugarman and Boyd clarified all the confusion about Peterson's injury. After initially breaking the clavicle Oct. 14 against Iowa State, Peterson aimed to heal up for Oklahoma's finale in the Fiesta Bowl Jan. 1.
Peterson was cleared to play, but he re-injured the clavicle early, unbeknownst to him or anyone else.
"He felt some pain in his shoulder. He didn’t really think much of it," Sugarman said. "He said he thought that’s the way it should feel, since he hadn’t played in seven weeks."
Peterson finished the game, but he complained to Oklahoma trainers later in the month about persistent pain.
Peterson said on Wednesday that he did not rush back and had no regrets about how things have transpired.
A CT scan on Jan. 30 revealed the re-injury.
At the NFL Combine a few weeks later, NFL team doctors did not have access to that latest CT scan, and they thought his injury was not progressing well enough.
But things were not cleared up until March 30, at the re-checks in Indianapolis.
Although the Vikings will not have to play without Peterson for three to six months, there were other discouraging reasons not to insert a plate to aid healing. There is the risk of infection, nerve damage and the matter of re-breaking the clavicle to insert the plate to begin with.
"Actually, down the road, patients that plate it have a higher risk of re-fracture than those who let it heal naturally on its own," Boyd said.


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