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Brady Hoke looks to Adrian Peterson as inspiration for Fitzgerald Toussaint

Fitzgerald Toussaint suffered a bad injury that ended his season, but Brady Hoke looks at Adrian Peterson's recovery from an injury as a sign his junior running back can come back strong from the setback.

Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Michigan Wolverines coach Brady Hoke is urging running back Fitzgerald Toussaint to remain patient as he heals from an undisclosed leg injury, pointing to Adrian Peterson's recovery from an ACL injury late last year as a sign that Toussaint can once again return to a top level of play.

Toussaint topped 1,000 yards as a sophomore, and this season had 514 and five touchdowns before a gruesome-looking injury against Iowa. Hoke hasn't disclosed much information about the injury: just that it was a big one, that it was in his left leg, and that he thinks Toussaint will play well again. Toussaint might travel with the team from the bowl game, but he might not play next season, as Hoke has considered a redshirt.

The junior running back apparently looks up to Peterson, who tore his ACL on Christmas Eve last year but has returned to lead the NFL in rushing less than a full year later. Hoke shared Peterson's story with Toussaint as inspiration:

"He's been good," Hoke said. "He knows he's got a lot of work ahead of him. There's a great article on Adrian Peterson -- and that's one of his idols -- in USA Today about coming back from injury and the mindset and those kind of things. So I gave it to Fitz after we met.

Thomas Rawls is the team's third-leading rusher behind Denard Robinson and Toussaint, and will likely split carries with Justice Hayes and Vincent Smith in Michigan's bowl game.