Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has spent nearly the past year looking for ways to get his right shoulder healthy again. He’s had surgery, done rehabilitation, received an injection and even gone across the ocean to Europe.
But Luck, the Colts’ franchise player, is still in the process of trying to regain his health.
“He’s been through hell,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said Tuesday. “Everybody has, and no more than him. And nobody wants to be back on the field more than Andrew. This is an unfortunate set of circumstances for everybody. But it’s life and life happens. He’s a warrior and he’s done so much for this organization over the last five years. He’s battled through injuries. He’s played injured, played hurt. It’s unfortunate.”
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported over the weekend that Luck is soon expected to return from Europe, where he has been getting what’s been described as successful treatment on his surgically repaired right shoulder. When Luck returns he’ll begin throwing again and it will become clearer whether he needs additional surgery, which would sideline him an additional three to six months.
“He will be back,” Pagano said. “He will be back better than ever at some point, and he’ll be back on the field leading this organization and leading this team to multiple, multiple wins and championships. That’s him. It’s unfortunate and I hate it for him. I hate it for him because nobody has sacrificed as much as he has for this organization over the last five years that he’s played. He’s a great teammate, great pro, great player. I can’t say enough about the kid and how bad we all feel for him, especially myself.”
Luck’s right shoulder has been the center of the Colts organization since he originally injured it in Week 3 of the 2015 season. He missed two games in 2015 and last season was limited in practice at least one day a week. The only game Luck missed last season, though, was because of a concussion. He decided to have surgery on the shoulder in January.
Luck, who missed all of the team’s offseason workouts and training camp, started practicing in early October. He was given a cortisone shot and shut down with the goal of stopping the soreness in his shoulder in the middle of October. The Colts placed Luck on season-ending injured reserve on Nov. 9, and the quarterback then left for Europe to seek different treatments and rehabilitation on his shoulder.
After playing every meaningful snap during his first three seasons, Luck will have missed 26 games over the past three years by the end of this season.
“You guys know how hurt he played,” Pagano said. “He has grit. He’s not soft like everybody else. When things went well it was because of everybody else. Things went bad it’s because of me. He never once complained about anything. Kudos to that man.”