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American Football Adrian Peterson welcome back at Vikings - Mike Zimmer

Despite being suspended for child abuse this season, Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer would welcome Adrian Peterson back.

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Peterson was restricted to just one game this season - the Vikings' season-opening victory over the St Louis Rams in September - before being suspended for the season by the NFL due to his overhanging charges.

He appealed the suspension, but it was thrown out by an independent arbitrator earlier in December - causing the running back to contemplate retiring from American Football, and claim his interest in trying out for the Olympic Games.

But coach Zimmer said he would welcome him back into the NFL fold with open arms.

"I think he's a good person, he has always great with me," Zimmer said in his season-closing press conference on Tuesday.

"[If] he gets his life in order, he gets the opportunity to come back - then I will be in his corner whenever the decision is made."

Peterson cannot be considered for reinstatement until April 15, and will count for $15.4 million against the Vikings' salary cap next season, yet Zimmer said having Peterson on the field is an advantage for any team.

"I think he would add value to any team, to be honest with you," Zimmer said.

"I think the kid's a heck of a football player. I just was watching our offensive tape, I was starting to go back right now with evaluating our players and I was starting with the offense in St Louis, so it was a good recollection on my mind right now of him."

Peterson had just 93 total yards in his 2014 campaign, but Zimmer hopes the 2012 MVP can return quickly and be a stable force in a young and improving Vikings offense.

"We would love to know ASAP so that we can start [planning] because a guy like him your football team and your offense can be different [if] you have him," Zimmer said.

Without Peterson in the backfield this season, Minnesota finished 14th in the league in rushing yards and 27th overall in total offense with rookie Teddy Bridgewater under centre.

Peterson was accused of disciplining his four-year-old son with a switch in May at his home in Spring, Texas.

He was initially charged with one felony count of reckless or negligent injury to a child.

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