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Toby Gerhart Has Torn MCL, Doesn't Think Surgery Is Required

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NFL hub at SBNation.com/NFL.

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The Minnesota Vikings can't catch a break when it comes to their backfield. After losing star running back Adrian Peterson to tears in both his medial collateral ligament (MCL) and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), his immediate backup, Toby Gerhart, went down with an apparent MCL injury of his own. The initial hope was that it wasn't serious, and Gerhart himself thought it was a sprain. Instead, it turns out that it is, in fact, a tear.

It's worth noting that a tear of the MCL is generally a lot better to have than a tear of the ACL. The latter could take eight months for rehab alone, and players often don't look back up to speed for a full year, with some outliers thrown in, like Wes Welker, for instance.

That being said, the injury to Gerhart is serious because, well, the Vikings are running out of running backs. Peterson's status for the 2012 opener is already in doubt, and if Gerhart is less-than 100 percent, the Vikings might make running back somewhat of a point of focus this offseason, be it through the draft or free agency.

It is worth noting that Gerhart doesn't think he'll need surgery, but that could change once the swelling goes down and the team gets a better look at what's wrong. Gerhart rushed for 531 yards backing up Peterson in 2011, and was earning himself more playing time, even with the star running back healthy in front of him.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NFL hub at SBNation.com/NFL.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.