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An update on Adrian Peterson's condition

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An update on Adrian Peterson's condition

From Comcast SportsNet
MANKATO, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota Vikings are aiming to put Adrian Peterson in for some exhibition game carries before they clear him for the regular-season opener. In order to get to that point, the star running back will have to start practicing. That could come next week. The coaching and medical staffs will evaluate Peterson's left knee after the Vikings return from San Francisco, the site of their first preseason game Friday night. "I'm looking forward to being out here pretty soon. I've been out for like two weeks, and it's time to get going," said Peterson, who tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments last December. "I know that they understand that, and they've been watching and they've been getting good feedback. So I'm sure they are pretty much as excited as I am." Coach Leslie Frazier said Peterson's pushing to join the team for practice has been "never ending," but Peterson said Wednesday he's let up on his lobbying. "Everything I'm hearing is extremely positive so we'll see where we are," Frazier said. The date that matters most is Sept. 9, when the Vikings (No. 29 in the AP Pro32) play Jacksonville to start the season. Frazier said again there's no indication Peterson won't be able to take part in that game. "Everything he's done he's right on point, but I say that without him ever participating in a drill with his teammates," Frazier said, declining to commit to a certain number of practices Peterson will need before he's allowed to play in the preseason. The Vikings don't want his first big blow from a defender to come in a game that counts. They'd rather him get that out of the way in August. Peterson said he thinks that would help him. "I'm ready to get hit. It might sound strange, but just to get that feel," Peterson said, pointing to his patellar tendon area in particular. That still "feels funny" as part of the recovery from the injury. So whenever he returns to the backfield, he'll continue to apply his "don't waste today" mindset toward the rehabilitation work, knowing it will all pay off once he's able to start taking those handoffsl again. "Anytime they give me the ball, I'll be ready to tote the load," Peterson said. Peterson also said he won't have to return to Houston for court, where he has a resisting arrest charge against him from a closing-time incident at a nightclub there last month. Hearings are scheduled for Sept. 27 and Nov. 15, but his attorney will represent him. "I feel like we're in a good position right now. The most important thing is no more interruptions. So it won't interfere with what's going on with the Minnesota Vikings, my team, so we'll just see how things play out," Peterson said.

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With or without Justin Verlander, Jake Arrieta expects Cubs to stay in first place: ‘We have the pieces’

With or without Justin Verlander, Jake Arrieta expects Cubs to stay in first place: ‘We have the pieces’

The Cubs already have a Cy Young Award winner, someone who was transforming into the hottest pitcher on the planet around this time in 2015, and then beat the Cleveland Indians twice on the road in last year’s World Series.

So the Cubs can keep discussing Justin Verlander and trying to figure out the price point where it makes sense, what caliber prospects they would have to give up and how much money the Detroit Tigers would have to kick in to cover a bill that could soar toward $90 million. 

But Jake Arrieta showed why the Cubs might finally start to run away from the division and become a very dangerous team in October, dominating the White Sox on Wednesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field during an 8-3 win that vaulted them into first place in the National League Central.          

“We expect to remain in first place,” Arrieta said. “We know it’s going to be a tough task, but that’s kind of what you deal with at the highest level of sports. You expect to have really good competition from teams that are either equal with you or close behind.

“We feel like we have the group to separate ourselves at this point in time and remain in first place for the remainder of the way.”

The Cubs probably don’t have the blue-chip prospects – and the appetite to raid their farm system again – to blow away the Oakland A’s and win a bidding war for Sonny Gray. The Cubs kick the tires on everything, but Yu Darvish would be a rental and the Texas Rangers are torn over what to do with their Japanese star. 

This is another reason why the Cubs are focusing on adding a veteran backup catcher and strengthening the bullpen before the July 31 trade deadline: Arrieta Watch is back, taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning in front of a sellout crowd of 38,517 before Omar Narvaez drilled a ground-rule double into the right-center field seats.  

The Cubs are 10-2 since trading for Jose Quintana during the All-Star break, erasing a 5.5-game deficit against the Milwaukee Brewers heading into this weekend’s showdown at Miller Park. At 53-47, the Cubs are a season-high six games over .500, and it all starts with pitching.  

“I think we’ve got the pieces to get it done,” Arrieta said. “If there’s a situation where we can get another guy and not lose any key players, it might work in our favor.

“Obviously, when we traded for Quintana, that’s a huge addition to our ballclub. This guy’s really good. He works his butt off. And just seeing how he carries himself in between starts is a really great sign. To have a guy like that who works extremely hard and cares about the team winning ballgames – you can’t replace that.

“That trade right there in itself is one that’s going to pay huge dividends for this ballclub, not only for this year, but for the next couple years. But we’re a great team right now, and I think we have the pieces to get it done.”  

Arrieta was on cruise control until Yoan Moncada launched his 98th and final pitch – an 0-2 curveball – 409 feet over the center-field wall with two outs in the seventh inning. Arrieta only allowed those two hits, giving up two runs and finishing with five strikeouts against two walks, continuing the correction super-agent Scott Boras predicted when the Chicago media and Cubs fans wondered about his flashes of diminished velocity and spikes in hard contact during a free-agency push.

Arrieta has methodically put together 10 wins and three straight quality starts after the All-Star break, chopping his ERA down from 5.44 in the middle of May to 4.03. Ricky Renteria’s White Sox are obviously tanking for the future and there are a lot of conditions attached to this statement: 

But if Arrieta pitches like this, Jon Lester continues to be one of the best big-game pitchers of his generation, Quintana excels in a pennant race and Kyle Hendricks regains his feel and rhythm after six-plus weeks on the disabled list, then the Cubs might have a better playoff rotation than the one that ended the 108-year drought.     

“We’re feelin’ it,” Arrieta said, thinking back to last summer, when Theo Epstein’s front office added 100-mph closer Aroldis Chapman to a team with close to a 99-percent chance of making the playoffs. “I remember last year we were in this clubhouse around this same time, and it’s no different.” 

Look at the competition: The Washington Nationals might be forced into adding a frontline starter now that Stephen Strasburg is headed to the 10-day disabled list with a nerve impingement in his right forearm. The Los Angeles Dodgers are hoping a strained lower back won’t stop Clayton Kershaw from making a few tune-up starts in September before becoming their Game 1 starter in October.

With or without Verlander, the Cubs are ramping up to defend their title.

“I’m going to continue to get stronger as the year progresses,” Arrieta said. “I feel like my best baseball, my best pitching, is still ahead of me. And I’m ready for it.”