Five months after knee injury, Adrian Peterson already outrunning teammates

Harvin wasn't the only player Peterson beat while racing. (AP)

Last Christmas Eve, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson suffered a gruesome leg injury in a meaningless Week 16 game against the Redskins. The early prognosis was that he'd be out of action for eight or nine months while recovering from a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee, which would put his return somewhere between September and October.

It was all very optimistic. Patriots wideout Wes Welker returned to the field seven months after tearing his ACL in 2009 but he's the exception. "Wes Welker's are rare," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier told Sports Illustrated's Peter King at the time.

Rarer still, perhaps? Adrian Peterson who, along with rehabbing teammate Percy Harvin, hasn't yet been cleared for practice with his teammates but is running at something approaching full speed. Details via the Associated Press:
The two friends ran up and down hills for conditioning and worked on balance in a sand pit, challenging each other to recover as quickly as possible and get back to the business of turning this proud franchise around after two straight last-place finishes in the NFC North.
Harvin's recovering from a shoulder injury and hopes to return to practice as soon as next week. Peterson, meanwhile, will be sidelined for a bit longer.

One of the newest (and fastest) Vikings, wide receiver Jerome Simpson, is looking forward to playing alongside them both. "I can't wait until (Harvin) gets back so I can see some of that speed everybody's been talking about," Simpson said via the AP. He added: "I got to run against Adrian and he's looking good. It was neck-and-neck there. We're always talking a little trash back and forth to each other, but it was a great competition."

For the record, Simpson won. Some other Vikings -- including Harvin, whom Peterson beat twice up a steep hill Wednesday -- weren't so lucky.

"He's amazing," Harvin said. "I told him the other day I don't think he's human. Two weeks ago he beat a couple guys in a race. When I got here yesterday, I told them guys they should be embarrassed."

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CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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