How severe is a torn meniscus?

MINNEAPOLIS – Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer announced Monday that Adrian Peterson has a torn meniscus.

Peterson was led off the field during the third quarter of Sunday’s home game opener against the Green Bay Packers.

Monday night, teammate Chad Greenway told KARE 11 at his Lead the Way Foundation gala that he has high hopes for AP.

“It’s obviously a shock for us but we have to rebound,” said Greenway.

Just how quickly AP can rebound from a torn meniscus is the big question. So should fans be worried?

“I think that depends. The meniscus tears can come in a lot of different flavors,” said Dr. Brad Nelson, of TRIA Orthopaedic Center in Bloomington. He says the meniscus is cartilage around the knee that acts like a shock absorber.

He says tears are not necessarily season-ending injuries, like Teddy Bridgewater's torn ACL and knee dislocation, but often require surgery. While he's not Peterson's physician, he says AP's injury could keep him off the field for a couple of weeks or up to four months.

“Even if the plan is for surgery, there are times when an athlete can return to sport and surgery can be delayed until the end of the season,” said Nelson.

While we don't know the extent of AP's injury, there's confidence from his teammate that he'll be back sooner than later.

"You never count him out, you never take the chance to put him down because he's going to surprise everybody and he's an amazing guy he's an amazing teammate,” said Greenway.

Dr. Nelson says meniscus tears are very common in younger athletes and can happen to anyone, especially the elderly as cartilage wears down.


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