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Peterson says collarbone fine

Peterson says collarbone fine

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NEW YORK - Adrian Peterson insists his collarbone has healed properly and he will be in minicamp for whichever team selects him in Saturday's NFL draft.

He's also not concerned that a recent report claiming he will need further surgery on the left collarbone will hurt his draft stock. The Oklahoma running back expects to go very high.

"The last couple of teams I visited with, Atlanta and Minnesota, I've been through everything you can do, and there is nothing negative," he said Thursday. "Everything has been positive news. They've got everything right there in front of them, and there are no red flags.

"I'll be ready for minicamp and won't miss anything at all."

Peterson originally was hurt against Iowa State and missed seven games. He acknowledged he reinjured the collarbone during Oklahoma's loss to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl.

"Yes, but it was not a re-break," he said. "It wasn't completely healed at the time, but it was solid. I hurt it, but I didn't break it again."

He estimated the injury is "95 percent healed."

In the last two months, Peterson has had CT scans and X-rays, been poked and probed by team doctors and trainers, then had more exams. He said not once has a team indicated it was dissatisfied with the findings.

Peterson was at the NFL combine in February for medical tests, then returned to Indianapolis in March for a checkup. He said that even if another medical procedure had been necessary to place a plate in the shoulder, he would have been ready for minicamp next month.

"The doctors all said they looked forward to it being healed very shortly," he said.

Peterson's college career was plagued by injuries. When healthy, he was among the most productive players in college football history.

Peterson reeled off a record-setting nine straight 100-yard rushing games to start his freshman year and set an NCAA freshman record with 1,925 yards rushing.

In subsequent seasons, he missed time with a sprained ankle and a dislocated shoulder before the collarbone problem.

A junior, Peterson is considered the best running back in the draft by far. No other runner is projected to go in the top dozen picks.

"The guy at Oklahoma is a great running back," said Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, whose team chooses fourth but has a standout runner in Carnell Williams.

"I think he's as good a running back coming out of college I've ever seen. This guy is killing people when he runs the ball."

Had it not been for the injuries, does Peterson believe he would have been the No. 1 pick?

"If my collarbone was not broken this season, I could be sitting here at No. 1," he said with a smile. "But there's nothing I can do about it now.

"It's truly a blessing to be in this situation. There are millions of people who would like to be sitting here now."

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