Running back Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings looks on during a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on Aug. 28, 2014 in Nashville.
Ronald C. Modra—Sports Imagery/Getty Images
September 15, 2014 3:32 PM EDT

Adrian Peterson said he was sorry for hurting his 4-year old son but denied he was a child abuser in a statement released Monday.

Peterson turned himself in over the weekend after he was indicted on child injury charges for beating his four-year-old son with a switch, and could face up to two years in prison if convicted. “I want everyone to understand how sorry I feel about the hurt I have brought to my child,” he said. “I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser. I am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury.”

The football star said he disciplined his son the way he was disciplined by his own parents, and credited his success to this style of upbringing. “I could have been one of those kids that was lost in the streets without the discipline instilled in me by my parents and other relatives,” he said. “I have always believed that the way my parents disciplined me has a great deal to do with the success I have enjoyed as a man.”

The running back — who has scored more than 90 touchdowns and rushed from more than 10,000 during his NFL career — was deactivated from last Sunday’s game against the Patriots. He is scheduled to attend practice this week and play in Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

 

Write to Charlotte Alter at charlotte.alter@time.com.

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