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Minnesota running back is scheduled to have surgery Thursday morning to repair his torn meniscus. USA TODAY Sports

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Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is holding out hope for a playoff return, with surgery set for Thursday morning to repair a torn meniscus, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak on behalf of Peterson, who first revealed he’d have the repair – not a trim that could’ve gotten him back on the field within weeks – in an interview with ESPN on Wednesday morning.

"Obviously, it's hard to replace a player like Adrian," Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford said Wednesday. "He's the best running back in the NFL. It's just the next man up."

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Peterson's timeline for return would not be determined until the surgery, when a doctor could assess the extent of the damage.

"Everything is possible," Zimmer said. "Could be season-ending, could be three weeks, four weeks. Who knows?"

Peterson was injured in the third quarter of Sunday night’s 17-14 win over the Green Bay Packers. The Vikings now turn to Jerick McKinnon as the starter, with and Matt Asiata expected to contribute as well. Zimmer also said Wednesday the team had signed former Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman.

Through two games, Peterson has had difficulty finding running room behind the Vikings offensive line. He has just 50 yards on 31 carries, and the Vikings rank last in the NFL in rushing offense with 95 yards on 50 carries.

Zimmer added that left tackle Matt Kalil had been placed on injured reserve with a hip injury. T.J. Clemmings will move over from the right side to replace him.

"We’re not the type of team that’s going to sit back and cry," Zimmer said of the injuries.

PHOTOS: Notable NFL injuries

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