Luck long on optimism, short on details
On certain subjects, Chuck Pagano said he was being “forthright and up-front and honest.” When it came to Andrew Luck, however, it was the same old song and dance.
“There’s no timetable. There’s no timetable,” said the Colts coach, repeating the franchise mantra.
Speaking to the media for the second time since undergoing labrum surgery on his throwing shoulder in January, Luck offered the usual encouraging words but nothing in the way of details regarding his rehab.
“I’m not getting into the specifics of everything,” he said. “All I know is I’m getting better every day. There’s a process and I’m trusting in that process.”
Luck will not participate in the Colts’ three-day minicamp this week; whether he will be ready when training camp starts in late July remains to be seen.
“Am I hopeful? Am I praying? Yeah, so is everybody,” said Pagano. “We all want him out there but again there’s really no timetable on it.”
Five months into recovery, Luck still is not throwing, which means we won’t know how his recovery stands until the players report for camp in late July. Some orthopedic websites suggest a recovery time of roughly six months. Physiodc.com projects a span of nine months to one year before the patient returns to normal.
So he could be ready for camp. Or he could miss the season. Most likely, something in between.
“To be honest, I have not thought about (camp),” Luck said. “If I’m ready for it, great. If I’m not, then that’s the way it is. I’m certainly hopeful for it but in my mind all I can do -- and I truly feel this way -- with this rehab, with my shoulder, I can’t look five months down the road, three months, two months, a week down the road, to me it’s about the next rehab session, the next day. That’s where my focus is and that’s where I think it needs to be for me to get back to 100 percent.”
Luck did admit he lost “15 pounds or so” after surgery but has since regained most of that weight.
“I’ve got a few more pounds I’d like to add on,” he said. “If you asked me if you felt like you were at your playing weight today I’d say no, I’d like to put on three, four, five more pounds.”
While we don’t know what Luck is doing, Pagano did say the next step in the process was throwing -- we just don’t know when.
“He’s going through the process. We know that process can be long,” he said. “He’s doing well. We’re just going to take it one day at a time. The next step is getting to the point where he can throw and there’s going to be obviously a number a pitch-count on that. He’s going to have to continue to build from the ground floor up as far as that goes. There’s really no telling. We’ll just listen as we always do to our docs and our trainers and listen to Andrew. He knows himself and he knows his body better than anybody else.”
Luck remained upbeat as usual when asked his level of confidence for a full recovery.
“Very high. Very, very high,” he said. “I feel and see myself getting better every day, every week and that’s something you can hang your hat on, if you will, it’s tangible, measurable progress. To me, that’s what matters right now.”
And what would be tell fans who are concerned about their quarterback?
“They don’t need to have any concern about their quarterback,” he said. “It’ll be alright.”
Sooner or later. Probably.
HOT READS …
>> Pagano did reveal defensive lineman Hassan Ridgeway has been out since undergoing surgery on his shoulder after last season. A fourth-round pick in 2016, Ridgeway started five of the last seven games at defensive end. “I’ll just tell you, I’ll be forthright,” Pagano said. “He had shoulder surgery. He’ll be fine. He had a procedure, came in after the season and something was bothering him so we looked into it, dug a little bit deeper and had a procedure done. That’s a lot more information than I’m supposed to give you so you guys owe me. But we’re into being forthright and up-front and honest.” Pagano said Ridgeway would be ready for training camp.
>> Ridgeway was one of 15 players who did not practice Tuesday: offensive linemen Jack Mewhort, Denzelle Good, and Brian Schwenke; wide receivers T.Y. Hilton, Phillip Dorsett and Al-Damion Riles; running backs Frank Gore and Marlon Mack; defensive backs Clayton Geathers and Malik Hooker; defensive end Kendall Langford; linebacker Akeem Ayers; tight end Colin Jeter; Luck and Ridgeway. Hilton (hamstring) isn’t expected to participate at all in minicamp, Pagano said.
>> What does Pagano hope to get from these final three days of workouts before the summer break? “Like I told them walking off from the walk-through, every snap, every player, everything that they do over the course of the next three days is going to be evaluated,” he said. “You just want to see progress with everybody. You want to see if the guys that were so-called repeat offenders were making the same mistakes over and over again, if they can find a way to get that corrected. But really just to see the execution, the efficiency, the elimination of the self-inflicted negatives -- the sins, we call them, false starts, neutral zone infractions. … Ball security. I think since we’ve been here in 2012, when we’re plus-one in the turnover margin -- we’ve been harping on this since we got here and we’ve been harping on it this whole camp -- we’re 27-2 if we’re plus-one or better. So that’s pretty simple to grasp and to cling onto, that one stat. If we can take care of the ball, and we certainly know that we have to take away the ball more this season if we’re going to have success. So really every aspect.”
(Andrew Luck photo by 1070 the Fan)