The nerves in Peyton Manning’s arm are not healing as quickly as doctors had hoped, two sources have told Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports. According to the sources, Manning’s arm may never be to the point where he can play again.
Manning, who underwent a spinal fusion procedure prior to the 2011 season, had been cleared to throw in December after doctors determined that the vertebrae in his neck had properly healed. The current problem remains with the nerves in his arm, however, which have not healed quickly enough to restore proper velocity to his throws.
Cole also spoke to two other NFL-affiliated doctors who have experience with surgeries similar to the one Manning underwent, and they said it could take more than a year from now for Manning to know whether he can play again.
Manning’s NFL future is currently up in the air. While he is still under contract with the Indianapolis Colts, some expect the franchise to waive him in order to avoid paying a $28 million roster bonus in March. While other teams seem potentially interested in signing Manning, most want to see that he has returned to full health before investing in the former NFL MVP. Manning was originally drafted by the Colts in 1998 and had not missed a single game for Indianapolis until this season. In 208 contests he has thrown for 54,828 yards and recorded 399 touchdown passes.