Adrian Peterson may not return to the Minnesota Vikings by the start of the 2012 season, according to the Star Tribune.
"I love Adrian," Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman said Tuesday. "But let's make this clear: I'm still not going to be quoted as saying he's going to play in the first game. That's not fair. I don't know that."
“That's obviously our goal, to get him playing the first game. But only if he's functionally safe to do it. This is our franchise. We can't be foolish about this."
Peterson went down in Week 16 of the 2011 season against the Washington Redskins. He underwent surgery on Dec. 30 to repair his torn ACL. Following the surgery, Peterson set his sights on playing in the Vikings opener.
Peterson had 208 carries for 907 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. He has 6,752 yards and 64 TDs for his five-year career.