Andrew Luck returns from Netherlands, doesn't think he needs another surgery

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is back from the Netherlands, where he spent over a month rehabbing his never-ending shoulder issue, but it's still not entirely clear when exactly he'll be able to play football again. On Friday, Luck spoke with reporters for the first time in two months, detailing what exactly he did during his trip abroad and what he believes will come next in a rehab process that is nearing its one-year anniversary.

Let's start with the good news: Luck doesn't think he needs another surgery and he anticipates being ready for OTAs, which means he should be ready for the 2018 reason.

"My gut and my feeling tells me I won't need another surgery," Luck said, via The Indianapolis Star. "I'm very optimistic. I feel really good today. I do not think I need another surgery. I believe in the process I'm in right now. I plan on being ready for everything (OTAs)."

Luck, who said that he's optimistic because the pain has decreased, added that he doesn't think the injury will be a career ender.

"I've never entertained the thoughts of (this being career ending)," Luck said. "I don't think that at all, at all."

So, what exactly was Luck doing in the Netherlands? Nothing crazy. He just wanted to work with a trainer he's familiar with.

"Really not much more to it than that," he said. "Nothing crazy, no injections, nothing out of the ordinary."

Luck's rehab abroad might've been ordinary, but everything else about this situation has been unordinary. When Luck underwent shoulder surgery last January to fix an injury that had been lingering since 2015, the Colts said that Luck would be ready in time for the 2017 season. That never happened, of course. Luck hasn't played a single down this season and that won't change in Week 17. He's been on injured reserve since early November

The point being, Luck's comments above probably shouldn't be treated as a guarantee. As our Will Brinson chronicled, this entire situation has been mismanaged and mangled to a point where we're now left questioning if we'll ever see Luck at his best again.

After never missing a game during his first three seasons, Luck is set to have missed 26 of 48 possible games since 2015. In June, the Colts signed him to a six-year, $140-million contract. He's owed $24.4 million in 2018, according to Spotrac. Without Luck, the Colts have gone 3-12 this year.

Luck told reporters that he still isn't throwing yet. 

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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