NFL MVP goes under the knife

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NFL MVP goes under the knife

From Comcast SportsNetEDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -- Adrian Peterson put up one of the best seasons by a running back in NFL history to run away with the MVP award.Now imagine what he could do if he was actually fully healthy.Peterson had surgery on Thursday to repair a sports hernia in his abdomen, an injury that bothered him for much of the last month of the season while he came up just 8 yards short of Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record.It was an incredible season nonetheless considering he had surgery to repair two torn ligaments in his left knee the previous December.In the final few weeks of the season, Peterson acknowledged playing through an abdominal injury, but never let on just how much it was bothering him.On Thursday, the Vikings disclosed he had undergone surgery in Philadelphia to repair the hernia."We expect a speedy recovery with no long-term concerns," the team said in a statement on its website.Considering Peterson recovered from a significant knee injury faster than anyone can ever remember a running back doing so, bouncing back from his latest procedure shouldn't slow him down too much.Peterson tore his ACL against the Redskins in December 2011, then set to work on a rehab program that surprised almost everyone in getting him back on the field for the season opener in 2012.He was somewhat limited in his first few weeks of the season, still working to get the scar tissue to break up and restore the flexion and cutting ability in his knee.But once he broke loose, he was nearly unstoppable. Peterson topped 200 yards twice in the final five weeks of the season and hit 199 in the season-ending victory over the Green Bay Packers that carried the Vikings into the playoffs.His recovery, coupled with the playoff berth and 2,097 yards rushing, helped Peterson easily win the MVP award over Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. He was also selected the league's offensive player of the year in a season in which he scored 12 touchdowns, had eight runs of 40 yards or more and averaged 6.0 yards per carry.Playing through the injury, which is a tear in the abdominal muscles that can cause severe pain in the pelvic and groin area and hinder a player's ability to run and cut, only adds to Peterson's breathtaking season.While many other players have found it too difficult to play with a sports hernia, Peterson only appeared to be slowed by the injury in one game, when he sat out much of the fourth quarter of a decisive victory over Houston in Week 16.Toby Gerhart finished up the game, and Peterson said later that his abdomen was too sore to continue playing. He rebounded with the monster game against Green Bay the following week and even played in the Pro Bowl with the injury.Peterson isn't expected to be out much more than a month, giving him ample time to get back into his workouts and get ready for next season.One of his best blockers is looking at a longer recovery time. Vikings center John Sullivan had microfracture surgery on his left knee, a procedure that requires a three- to four-month rehabilitation program. Sullivan, who made a push for a Pro Bowl spot in his fifth season, is expected to be ready for training camp in August. The surgery was first reported by 1500espn.com.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.