ESPN reporter Josina Anderson spoke with Minnesota Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson on Thursday after he had surgery to repair a sports hernia. Peterson said he first suffered the injury during a Week 10 game against the Detroit Lions, received a cortisone shot prior to the Week 13 game against the Green Bay Packers and that the resulting pain was a "10 on a scale of 10" during the Week 16 game against the Houston Texans.
After that Lions game, Peterson rushed for 1,068 yards in seven games. He had 200-yard games against the Packers and St. Louis Rams and a 199-yard game in the Vikings' Week 17 rematch against the Packers. As we noted earlier, the Vikings did not list his abdomen injury on their injury report until Week 15. They did accurately note when he didn't practice, attributing his absence to a shoulder injury or a coach's decision.
Here is Peterson's interview with Anderson in a Q&A format:
When did you incur your sports hernia injury?
Adrian Peterson: "I suffered the injury against Detroit at home, but I didn't know the extent I was hurt then. I just remember getting twisted up pretty bad in an awkward position. My jersey never moves like that. I don't know if it was from a tackle or from me pulling away from someone. I just remember thinking when I saw my jersey like that, that I must've gotten twisted up pretty bad.
"That next day I felt very uncomfortable in my groin and abdominal area. I thought to myself I'll just wait until I recover but I never did. I came out after that play. Each week it just got worse and worse and worse. I kept thinking to myself why is this happening and why now. With everything that I was going through with my knee I just said to myself I am not going to let this bring me down. I just focused on doing my rehab, getting rest and continuing to play."
What was the injury's impact on practice?
AP: "After the bye week I didn't truly practice, not a week after that until the end of the season. The only time I did do anything was pretty much on Fridays when I would just do a couple carries or so. Everybody knows that is our short day. I was getting rehab during this process. I knew I wasn't really practicing at all. I wasn't able to lift because of the strain that it would put on those muscles on an upper or lower body workout. That was too much.
"It was mind over matter. It was just about doing what I had to do to push myself every week. My body was sore from the game and the sports hernia every Monday, so I did what I had to do to recover and get my body right. I just played through the pain. I ran on adrenaline."
Did you get painkillers and if so when?
AP: "I never treated the pain until I had to go get a cortisone shot in the pelvic area. I had swelling and inflammation that had built up. There was a lot of fluid that was causing me pain. It was the week of the Packers game. If you notice on my long [82-yard] touchdown that I broke down the sideline -- you are a sprinter [speaking to Anderson] so you'll get this -- my right leg was kind of like I was forcing to carry it. That was my strong leg. The people who do my rolfing [therapy], they really work miracles. [They] really worked my trigger points to help me get through. That stuff is painful man. Everything I did with the Vikings and my trainer just helped me deal with it too."
When was the pain the worst?
AP: "Against Houston, that was probably the worse I felt. That was the first time that I really doubted myself and questioned whether I would be able to continue the season. The pain was a 10 on a scale of 10. Put it like this, I developed a new respect for Greg Jennings who had the same type of injury. Initially I thought Greg was tripping and that he needed to be playing, but when I got it I was like, I understand bro'. This is nothing to fool with."
Did the injury impact your run at Eric Dickerson's record?
AP: "It definitely impacted my play. I wasn't 100 percent, but I wanted to win a championship. I wasn't going to stop or quit. I made a decision to keep going. I don't want to make it seem like the sports hernia made me miss it. I could have done it with the injury. All I can say is that I would have had better performances."
Recovery time from surgery?
AP: They are telling me that my recovery is three to four weeks. That's the amount of time I have to wait before I can to do real workout."