By Evan Hilbert
December 23, 2011

If healthy, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay expects quarterback Peyton Manning back with the team next season.

"I think the situation is if he's back and he's healthy, I see him coming back and playing here," Irsay told the NFL Network before Indianapolis' game with Houston Thursday. "I think the hope is that his health is in the position where he could return again. That remains uncertain and that's something that's first and foremost on my mind."

Manning hasn't appeared in a game this year after having neck surgery Sept. 10. His rehab has reportedly gone well, and Manning began increasing the intensity of his workouts at the beginning of the month.

The Colts will lock up the first overall pick with a loss Thursday

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