Peyton Manning says his healing process is ‘going slow’


Peyton Manning and Coach Jim Caldwell in the Colts’ loss to the Bengals on Oct. 16. (Tom Uhlman / AP)

He is healing from spinal fusion surgery, but told reporters in the Indianapolis Colts’ locker room that it’s “going slow.” He also answered comments by Phil Simms about whether he’d approve the drafting of Andrew Luck by the Colts.

“Nothing earth-shattering, just two months today since my surgery. Not a whole lot to report,” Manning said (via the Indianapolis Star). “Still waiting for the fusion to take place. That takes place, they thought, between two and three months. Still going slow with that.

“I still have some of the same issues I had before the fusion as far as the nerves and the regeneration. Still dealing with that, the idea being that this surgery gave me the most stability for the nerves to regenerate. That’s still a process there.”

Although Manning remains on the Colts’ active list, he may be running out of season, with the Colts at 0-8. “I kind of go a week at a time, try to get a little better each week,” he said. “Still have some restrictions on what I’m allowed to do. I’m still positive about things improving. I still have some work to do.”

Manning wasn’t sharing details about rehab from his third neck procedure in 19 months. “There’s really not a schedule and there’s really not a timeline. It’s sort of how I am at different checkpoints. I really think I would say the first of December is probably the next check point. That will be three months from the surgery. See where I am from the strength standpoint at that time, from a conditioning standpoint.

“I just can’t give a prediction of where I’m going to be. I don’t think anybody really can because as I’ve said all along, this injury is one that is a little bit unpredictable. You think positively about things being good at that time, but I really can’t tell you where they will be at that time.”

Manning did offer a little insight into the five-year, $90-million contract he signed, saying it is “a one-year deal with a four-year extension and that was my recommendation because I wasn’t healthy when I signed the contract.” In early 2012, the team must pay $28 million; if it does not (if, say, the Colts were winless and likely to draft Luck, the Stanford quarterback), he’d be a free agent.

“If I'm not healthy in February,” Manning said (via Andrew Siciliano), “then I think it's fair for the Colts to make their decision there.”

Manning offered a little dig in the direction of Simms, the former quarterback/NFL analyst who questioned how well Luck would do in the pros and said that Manning would not back a decision to draft Luck.

“Yeah, I don’t talk to Phil. Phil doesn’t talk to me. He did text me after that, saying ‘Hey, sorry to drag your name into this.’ I wrote back, ‘Phil, I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ He said, ‘Well, on my show, “Inside the NFL,” I made this statement.’ I said, ‘Phil, I hate to break it to you, but I don’t watch your show, along with a lot of other people that I don’t think watch that show.’ Giving himself a little more credit than probably was merited.

“Hey, this is the time for speculation. People speak what they think your opinion’s going to be, what you’re going to do. That’s what people do. I’ve never made any statements. Anything that’s going on, I’m discussing it with Coach [Jim] Caldwell, [Colts Vice-Chairman] Bill Polian. Everybody’s in full awareness of what’s going on and where things are.

“I’m talking now ’cause it’s two months from the surgery. I thought that was another update to say really nothing’s going on except that I’ll talk again in December when it’ll be three months and see where things are at that time.

“I hope things are better at that time, but it’s really hard to predict.”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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