Vikings RB Peterson says knee rehab ahead of schedule

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson knows that it's a long road back following knee surgery, especially when the operation is to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

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But with his knee gradually regaining its strength and a Feb. 28 date to begin running again, Peterson isn't afraid to be optimistic about when he could play again.

"Right now my goal is to be back by the first, the regular-season opener," Peterson told "The Dan Patrick Show" on Tuesday. "That's my goal."

Peterson underwent ACL surgery on Dec. 30 -- a little more than eight months before the start of the 2012 season. Peterson said he understands that the injury typically requires eight to nine months of rehab, but "right now, I am ahead of schedule."

Peterson told KFAN-FM last week that he's starting to get his muscle tone and strength back into his legs and that the Vikings training staff has been "very pleased" with his progress.

The Vikings have worked with Peterson to make sure that he's not trying to rush his recovery, and Peterson reiterated Tuesday that he's making an effort to remain patient throughout the process.

"Ultimately, I've got to make sure I am 100 percent before I get back out there," Peterson said. "It's going good so far."

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