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Adrian Peterson's recovery 'on course,' coach says

Leslie Frazier was already on record saying the Minnesota Vikings are prepared to be without Adrian Peterson in the early part of the 2012 season if his surgically repaired knee isn't ready to go.

On Tuesday, the coach said Peterson is "right on course" in his recovery, but added the team will defer to doctors and trainers for any timetable. Frazier -- on a USO tour in the Persian Gulf this week -- expects Peterson will want to be on the field when training camp kicks off July 27, but that doesn't mean he'll get the green light.

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"He's so valuable to our organization that we have to be smart," Frazier told USA Today. "We'll tread lightly as far as Week 1 and how much he'll contribute on the field. Even when we get to training camp, he's going to be chomping at the bit, but we'll have to be smart."

As we wrote Monday in our "Making The Leap" series, the Vikings are much more likely to lean on third-year running back Toby Gerhart than they are to rush Peterson back into the lineup just to have him on the field.

Don't forget, Minnesota signed Peterson to a massive seven-year, $96 million deal three months before he blew out his knee. Every NFL player represents an investment on some level, but the Vikings practically have a partnership with Peterson.

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