Peyton Manning still hopes to play in 2011


Peyton Manning has been cleared to stand on the sideline Sunday. (AJ Mast / AP)

“I think you have to have hope until the doctors rule you out,” he told reporters Thursday in his first appearance in the Colts’ locker room since having surgery. “We’re having a lot of injuries, so if they [the Colts] come to me and say they have to make a move, I won’t fight them on that.

“The good Lord is calling my plays and I’m not allowed to audible at this point, so I have to listen to the doctors.”

Manning underwent anterior fusion surgery on his neck on Sept. 8 — his third neck procedure in 19 months. With the usual recovery time two-to-three months, the Colts have opted not to place him on the season-ending injured-reserve list. His recovery, though, will proceed at its own pace, with his progress monitored with monthly X-rays.

“I feel good, but that’s a tough question to answer because if you’re feeling good today that means you should be feeling great in two weeks, right?” he said.

Bill Polian, the team’s vice-chairman, said in a radio interview this week that Manning had increased his activities, but Manning, while confirming that, would not divulge details. He has been cleared to stand on the sidelines during the Colts’ game Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

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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