Thursday, October 6, 2011

Peyton Manning Finally Cleared To Stand On Sidelines of Colts Games Following Neck Surgery

Doctors have finally cleared Peyton Manning to stand on the sidelines of the Indianapolis Colts game on Sunday vs. the Kansas City Chiefs.

It's been four weeks since his neck surgery that fused two cervical vertebrae together, and for the past two weeks Manning was confined to the coaches' booth far away from the field.  This was done both to make sure Peyton wasn't putting himself at risk by potentially not being able to move out of the way if the action got too close, but also because doctors most likely didn't want him to push himself too much to be standing the entire three-to-four hour game.

Manning was seen last Monday night in the coaches' box without a cervical collar, which means he must have some neck mobility back already.  He also mentioned in an interview in the locker room earlier today that doctors are monitoring the healing of his fusion by taking an x-ray every four weeks.

That means he would have had an x-ray today, which may be why he was cleared to be on the sidelines.  There may already be enough apparently bony healing present to provide more stability to the neck.  I'm fairly confident that the cameras will follow Manning during the game, and so we'll get an idea of the kind of range of motion he's gotten back.

Let's not forget, though, that a major part of why Manning's recovery back to the NFL is so tenuous is the regeneration of the nerve controlling the triceps of his throwing arm.  Manning could be completely pain free and able to throw footballs in another month, but if the affected nerve hasn't regenerated, his arm will still be weakened.  Time will tell.

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