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December 8, 2006

OU's Peterson practices, cleared for Fiesta

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NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma tailback Adrian Peterson returned to the football huddle on Friday after team doctors gave the OK for him to practice and play in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, coach Bob Stoops confirmed.

"He's cleared to play," Stoops said. "We're going to give him more as we lead up to the game and [I] fully expect him to play. He's anxious to play and wants to."

Peterson has been out since breaking his collarbone Oct. 14 during Oklahoma's game against Iowa State.

Nearing the end zone on a 53-yard touchdown run, he was tripped up by Cyclone cornerback Chris Singleton, stumbled, dived and landed awkwardly on his shoulder. Oklahoma won the game 34-9.

On Friday, practice for Peterson, who wasn't made available to speak with reporters, was limited to non-contact and 7-on-7 drills, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said.

"I think we want to go a little bit longer before they clear him to be running around where there maybe a collision going on," Wilson said.

Even though he didn't practice much, Peterson's return didn't go unnoticed.

"Everybody was aware of that when we got in the huddle," quarterback Paul Thompson said. "... It was good to see him back in there."

Guard Duke Robinson tried to egg Peterson on in his return.

"I told him, 'You need to get in there and run somebody over,'" Robinson said. "That'll get the practice going a bit. He said no, he needed to chill.

"The presence of him just spirited everybody up. Everybody had a pretty good spirit about practice today," Robinson said.

Peterson ran for 935 yards in six games before the injury.

Despite missing the seven games since, that total still ranks second in the Big 12 Conference. He was selected by conference coaches to be on the All-Big 12 first team.

The Sooners take on Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1.

For more coverage of the Oklahoma Sooners, check out SoonerScoop.com.

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