Vikings Peterson wont need clavicle surgery
Doctors say injured collarbone healing, inserting protective plate unneeded
The Associated Press
Updated: 2:56 p.m. PT May 16, 2007
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Adrian Peterson has been cleared for takeoff.
The Minnesota Vikings first-round draft pick will not need surgery to repair a collarbone that was broken twice last season, an injury that may have caused him to slip to the seventh pick in Aprils NFL draft.
The Vikings said Wednesday that the injury was healing fine on its own and they will not have to insert a protective plate to prevent further injury, a procedure that would have kept the former Oklahoma running back out of action for three to six months.
The team said Peterson will be ready for contact drills when training camp opens.
We felt the fracture was well on its way, team physician Dr. Joel Boyd said. We thought it would be best to let it heal in a natural way.
Peterson broke his collarbone in a game against Iowa State on Oct. 14. He missed the final seven games of the regular season before returning to play in the Fiesta Bowl against Boise State. The collarbone was broken again early in that game on a tackle in the backfield, but Peterson played through the pain and did not report the injury until an examination on Jan. 30, Vikings trainer Eric Sugarman said.
When Peterson arrived at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis in February, teams were alarmed when doctors found the fracture. At the time, Sugarman said, NFL doctors did not know that Peterson broke his collarbone again in the Fiesta Bowl, so they feared he would need surgery because of how long it was taking to heal.
What we thought, when we saw him at the combine, was that we were looking at the fracture from Oct. 14, Sugarman said. We did not have the information, no one had the information, that he reinjured it in the bowl game. No ones fault. It just never came to light.
The Vikings gave Peterson a thorough examination, and upon another CT scan on March 30, they saw increased callus formation and a healing fracture, giving them the confidence to select him in the draft.
As soon as the pick appeared on the board, Peterson and the Vikings were dogged by questions about his health and availability for the start of the 2007 season. They insisted at the time that he would not need surgery, but Tuesdays exam made them confident enough to tell reporters.
He doesnt have any limitations, Sugarman said. He will be fine by training camp for contact.
Boyd said surgery would have brought its own risks, including infection, nerve damage and, surprisingly, further injury.
If you look at the literature, as you move forward down the road, patients who do get plated actually have a slightly higher risk of re-fracture than those who heal on their own, Boyd said.
Coach Brad Childress, always even-keeled, said the news wasnt a relief, but its another part of the step. All along, we had a pretty good idea.
So did Peterson, who rejoiced at the fact that he will no longer have to face questions about his collarbone. He walked into a room of reporters on Wednesday with a wide grin on his face.
I feel real good, Peterson said. It hasnt given me any problems. I was pretty confident in it.
The Vikings sorely need a player with Petersons big-play ability to add to an offense that struggled mightily to score points last season.
He will team with Chester Taylor, who rushed for 1,214 yards last season, in a new-look backfield that should add some juice to a stagnant unit.
Despite the questions that surrounded him on draft day, the Vikings simply couldnt pass up the chance to add a player with his game-breaking skills.
We felt very confident it would be a non-issue, Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman said.
Even if Peterson had needed surgery, Spielman said, the Vikings would have picked him because Sugarman deemed the injury a fixable problem.
Hes too good of a player, Spielman said. For us to get a guy that was top three on our board, after listening to what Sug said and what Doc said, theres no way we could pass now.
Notes: Sugarman also said DE Erasmus James was progressing well after missing all of last season with a knee injury. He should be ready for training camp. ... The Vikings announced the signing of rookie free agents Andy Olemgbe, a guard from Texas Southern, and Chad Johnson, a defensive back from Northwestern State.
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for the 2nd consecutive year our #1 pick is out for the year, hope to hell not.