The way Adrian Peterson sees it, Chicago Bulls star guard Derrick Rose will come back from his torn ACL just as the Minnesota Vikings’ All-Pro running back has this season. If. . .
“(Rose) just attack(s) it. Right now, the ligament is strong enough to cut with it,” Peterson told ESPNChicago.com. “Don’t be hesitant. When you’re out doing drills, do it as you normally would any other day. Push yourself and challenge yourself. That’s the only way you’ll build the strength and confidence to where it should be.”
Peterson, after ripping up his knee in December, has come back to lead the NFL in rushing with 957 yards rushing. He said he overcome the potentially debilitating injury through mind over matter.
“And that’s what I would tell him: ‘Man, you’re (six months out), you’re strong, you can’t damage it unless a freak accident takes place,” Peterson said. “Attack it like any other day and make sure, when you’re done working out, you know you’ve accomplished something.’ ”
Peterson met Rose for the first time on the set of a video game commercial before the Bulls’ guard tore his ACL last April 28 in the team’s first playoff game.
“I was just excited to meet him when we did the video shoot, just to see the things he does on the court, and he’s my height,” Peterson said with a laugh. “To know how hard he works and how determined he is, we have the same warrior spirit in how we play the game. He’s one of those guys when you’re counting the guys who are all in, he’s all in.”
Peterson remembers another thing from that meeting that stays with him.
“It’s shocking that I inspire him because of the time it took for me to recover from my injury,” Peterson said. “When we met that day in Houston, he was getting ready to head out, and I was on the set and he came over and asked ‘Do you mind if I get your autograph?’ He wanted me to sign the back of his phone.
“I don’t always understand the position I’m in. But me looking at Derrick Rose, who’s a superstar and he’s asking me for an autograph, that’s pretty cool.”
Peterson said he remembers seeing the replay of Rose’s injury in Game 1 of the NBA playoffs last spring and was devastated.
“I remember seeing it and man, you don’t want your fellow athlete going through something like that, but it’s motivating, too, to think about him now,” he said. “He’s a good person, very respectful, and just knowing his spirit and his work ethic, I know he’s going to come back better than before.
“It’s funny, I haven’t talked to him since that last time I saw him, but I just feel it and I can sit here and say I know he’s going to come back better than he was before.”