MINNESOTA Vikings running back Adrian Peterson began sprinting again as he battles back to fitness after a knee injury that has left him a frustrated spectator for the last nine games.
Peterson, 31, has not played since suffering a torn meniscus in his right knee during the Vikings’ September 18 clash with the Green Bay Packers.
The injury was initially feared to have ended Peterson’s season but Vikings coach Mike Zimmer is still holding out hope the star running back may yet be available at some point in December.
That optimistic outlook was given momentum on Tuesday after Peterson was spotted by reporters running sprints in a workout with a trainer.
Peterson was seen running repeated straight sprints but did not participate in lateral movement drills.
Peterson’s absence has been disastrous for Minnesota’s rushing game this season. The Vikings have the worst rushing offense in the NFL, averaging just 2.8 yards per carry.
Peterson, who missed almost the entire 2014 season after being accused of assaulting his four-year-old son, returned to football last year to top the single-season rushing standings.
He became only the third man over 30 to top the standings after rushing for 1,485 yards over 16 games, averaging 4.5 yards per carry.