Adrian Peterson eyeing Week 1 return

Minnesota Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson appeared in public Friday for the first time since suffering a significant left knee injury Dec. 24. The big takeaway: Peterson has set a personal goal of recovering in time to play in the first game of the 2012 season.

Peterson, of course, is only two weeks removed from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament; he also tore the medial collateral ligament. That puts us awfully early in the process toward projecting his return, and athletic trainer Eric Sugarman told reporters: "We're not in a race. We're not going to rush him."

Whenever he returns, Peterson pledged to be stronger than ever.

"I know that anything I put my mind to," Peterson said, "I'm going to be able to accomplish. I feel like I'm going to come back better than before. I know people might laugh at that or think otherwise. But you know what? It doesn't matter what they think or how they feel about it."

Video of the entire 23-minute news conference is available on the Vikings' web site.