Colts star quarterback Andrew Luck has not yet entered the intensive throwing portion of his recovery from offseason shoulder surgery, but is nearing completion of a program to rebuild strength in his throwing shoulder, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

The Colts are avoiding putting any pressure on the franchise player, and do not even have a timetable for a full return even to the practice field, though I am told a projected debut at practice is anticipated "sooner rather than later." Most important, sources said there have been no setbacks in the passer's incremental return from surgery. Obviously, all parties are taking every precaution with his return, which to this point has not included Luck really airing out the football or testing the shoulder, and thus leaves him still several weeks away from being even considered for the game-day roster.

The expectation is he will ramp up his throwing regimen shortly, then progress to the point where he is able to practice. However, he will also need a good portion of time to practice -- more than merely a week or so -- to be ready to play in an NFL game. That practice time will be invaluable to the player and the team in assessing where Luck is in his comeback from a labrum repair procedure. Therefore the Colts were adamant about taking the quarterback off the physically unable to perform list when the 53-man rosters were set; he would not have been able to practice for the first six weeks of the season had he remained on it.

Team sources said that while Luck is very eager to rejoin his teammates on the field, he remains in good spirits and has been enthused by his recent progress. "He can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel," according to one team source.

The Colts' new front office is cognizant of Luck's unique talent and abilities and import to this franchise in the long-term, and they will act accordingly in reaching a conclusion as to when the former top overall pick next plays a regular season game, though it's hard to envision that happening this month.