If you were under the impression that the legend of 2012 season of Adrian Peterson couldn't get bigger—think again.
As Brad Biggs reports in the National Football Post, Peterson finished off his extraordinary season playing with a sports hernia.
So while Peterson was ripping off games of 212, 86, 199 and 99 yards, he was also dealing with a tear in his abdominal core muscle.
I don't know if you've ever had an abdominal muscle injury, but in many cases it's painful to breathe, forget running into, around and over 300-pound players in full equipment at top speed.
There's really only one explanation, summed up by my colleague at Footballguys.com (and a writer at Football Outsiders and the Rookie Scouting Portfolio), Matt Waldman:
Matt Waldman @MattWaldman
His real name is Wolverine. That's the only thing that explains it. He's a mutant. @JeneBramel @SigmundBloom Adrian Peterson2013-2-7 17:10:27
Even if he's not Wolverine from Marvel comics, he certainly continues to prove himself to be a genetic freak.
If you're not familiar with the injury, here are some details according to the Football Outsiders' Guide to Sports Injuries (edited by our own Will Carroll and written by Will's dad):
"A sports hernia is a wear-and-tear (overuse syndrome) injury causing by repetitive twisting and turning......Offensive and defensive backs in football must be able to change direction rapidly as well as stop and start rapidly. All of these sport actions, when repeated over and over, place the athlete at risk for a sports hernia..."
The symptoms may not be much at first, but they can get bad. Again, according to Carroll:
"This pain then progresses to an almost constant state whenever the athlete moves. The pain usually appears slight at first and then becomes progressively worse. Sudden movements, either in training or in activities of daily living, will cause a stabbing pain in the groin."
So let's think about this. Adrian Peterson had an injury which hurt with even minimal movement, which gets progressively worse and continues to worsen the more you use it, which naturally Peterson used a lot.
While dealing with that, he ran for the second most yards in NFL history and was only nine yards short of breaking the overall record.
So either his pain tolerance is off the charts (which would not be stunning) or it was a minor injury which got really bad in or just after the playoffs.
I'm no doctor (though I recently stayed at a Holiday Inn Express) but that's pretty darn impressive.
For the Vikings, you can't have asked for more from Peterson. Not only did he carry the team into the playoffs but he did so effectively with an injury that often destroys the production of those who get it.
Now that he's gone under the knife, according to Carroll's guide, it will take about "three to four weeks of recovery from surgery, followed by a slow increase in pelvic and abdominal exercises" before Peterson is likely to be allowed to resume full training.
Meanwhile, Peterson will have to avoid any sudden movements in order to avoid damaging himself again. So I expect a lot of X-Box, Playstation and Netflix in "All Day's" short term future.
Knowing Peterson though, and his potentially mutant and/or cyborg DNA, he'll be up and around sometime soon. Like tomorrow morning.
And ready to go for the 2013 season.