Colts' Peyton Manning hopeful he can return

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INDIANAPOLIS — Peyton Manning could soon be throwing footballs to his teammates, the best news Colts fans have heard since this miserable season began.

Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning hopes he can return to practice or even play by the end of the regular season.  Michael Conroy/Associated Press
Michael Conroy/Associated Press
Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning hopes he can return to practice or even play by the end of the regular season.

While the Colts and the four-time league MVP are still trying to find out what the next part of his rehabilitation program entails, lifting weights and throwing balls are apparently going to be part of it.

“Throwing will be part of the next progression,” Manning said Friday before heading back to the team’s weight room. “I will be doing some throwing and I have been doing some throwing. But now we’re going to ramp it up a little more.”

Manning called the news encouraging and said he would like to practice or even play this season if he’s cleared.

It was welcome news in a winless season that began with Manning underdoing his third neck surgery in 19 months back on Sept. 8. He has not practiced since having a single-level spinal fusion that doctors hope will not only alleviate pressure on a damaged nerve that had caused weakness in Manning’s throwing arm but allow the 35-year-old quarterback to play at a high level.

Indy (0-11) has kept Manning on the active roster all season with the hope that he might start throwing at practice before the Jan. 1 season-finale at Jacksonville.

Dr. Robert Watkins said the fusion had healed firmly enough for Manning to increase the intensity of his workouts.

Those at the team complex are still trying to figure out what Manning can do.

“I don’t know. I really don’t know,” coach Jim Caldwell said when asked about Manning’s rehab program. “I just know they’ve been pretty cautious with what they’ve allowed him to do.”


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