Reich's comments confirm what general manager Chris Ballard announced a week prior; essentially, Luck's rehab program for his surgically repaired shoulder continues to move along slowly but steadily as he inches closer to throwing again. While it's expected that Luck will start a throwing program soon, there isn't any official timetable for that to happen, which puts his availability for the start of the Colts' offseason workouts in the spring into question. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Luck has recently been in California meeting with throwing experts, who have been monitoring the progress of his recovery.
Colts general manager Chris Ballard addressed Luck's rehab during a press conference Wednesday and downplayed speculation that the health of the quarterback's right shoulder played a role in Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels' decision to withdraw his acceptance of Indianapolis' head-coaching vacancy, Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports. "Let's talk about Andrew because there's a lot of rumors," Ballard said. "I'm going to listen to the doctors that he's talking to and dealing with, and I'm going to listen to the guy that is training him right now. And, at this point, we feel very strongly that Andrew's in a good place. He doesn't need surgery -- I have not gotten that from the two doctors that he's seen after the season. His strength is good. He's working on his throw motion and he's working on his arm speed right now. He has not picked up a football, but he's throwing balls, working on arm speed. He's not going to skip a step...he's going to do everything right to get himself ready to play. And I'm very confident -- he's very confident -- that he's going to come back and prove a lot of people wrong."
After playing through an injury to his labrum during the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Luck underwent surgery last January with the hope he would enter the 2017 campaign at full strength. That never came to fruition, however, as Luck made limited progress in his recovery in the months that followed before being shuttered for good in November when his shoulder responded poorly to light throwing. Following his shutdown, Luck headed to Europe for additional treatment, with the Colts announcing shortly thereafter that a follow-up surgery wouldn't be necessary for the franchise signal caller. While Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported Sunday that doctors who have examined Luck still have concerns about his shoulder, Ballard's comments suggest that at least within the organization, there isn't as much worry regarding Luck's health outlook for 2018. Regardless, Luck will need to get back on the field and throw without discomfort at some point during the offseason before there can be any optimism that his lingering shoulder woes are firmly in the rear-view mirror.
Luck (shoulder) is "very close" to receive clearance to throw again and will soon travel to Los Angeles to work with throwing mechanics and strength gurus Tom House and Adam Dedeaux, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Luck missed the 2017 season after surgery last January to repair a torn labrum. After doing rehab work in the Netherlands once he was moved to injured reserve, Luck and the team hadn't ruled out further surgery, but it sounds like his return to throwing means further surgery isn't necessary. If Luck is able to throw it would be a significant milestone in his recovery, but it's worth noting that he also started throwing in October before he was ultimately shut down. Luck will need to go through normal offseason workouts and throw on the field before he can be expected to play in 2018 with any confidence after several optimistic outlooks at various points over the last year.
Luck (shoulder) has returned from spending the six weeks in the Netherlands working with a trainer but said he did not receive any injections or special treatment, ESPN reports. "I plan on being ready for everything, everything official, offseason, NFL schedule. I plan on being ready," Luck said.
Luck said he was doing "rehab, strength training, soft tissue work" with a trainer in Europe and left the U.S. to focus on his rehab. He'll start throwing again in January but he and the team have not ruled out surgery if he's still experiencing pain. Luck, who had shoulder surgery in January, hasn't thrown since being shut down in late October. Luck has had similar optimism over the past year, so we may not know his 2018 status until he begins throwing and participating in offseason workouts.
Since having his throwing program shut down in late October before ending up on injured reserve, Luck has spent the last several weeks in Europe to receive treatment for his surgically repaired right shoulder. Though it was initially believed that Luck wouldn't require a follow-up procedure on his labrum, the team plans to see how the quarterback looks during a throwing and rehab regimen in early January before it's decided if another surgery is necessary, according to Bob Kravitz of WTHR.com. Another update on the status of Luck's health should come within the next few weeks, which would bring more clarity for his 2018 outlook.
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