Manning says neck still hasn't healed

Peyton Manning held an impromptu media session with reporters in Indianapolis on Thursday and said that his healing process is moving slowly, as he tries to make his way back from neck surgey.

The Indianapolis Star ran a full transcript of the interview on its website, and some of the highlights included Manning speaking not only about his health, but also his thoughts on potentially mentoring Andrew Luck, if the Colts finish with the worst record in the NFL and have the first pick in the draft. Manning also addressed Phil Simms' comments in "Inside the NFL" that Manning would try to discourage the Colts from drafting Luck.

Here are some of the highlights of Manning's interview session.

On how his recovery is going:

"Nothing earth-shattering, just two months today since my surgery. Not a whole lot to report. Still waiting for the fusion to take place. That takes place, they thought, between two and three months. Still going slow with that. I still have some of the same issues I had before the fusion as far as the nerves and the regeneration. Still dealing with that, the idea being that this surgery gave me the most stability for the nerves to regenerate. That’s still a process there.

“I kind of go a week at a time, try to get a little better each week. Still have some restrictions on what I’m allowed to do. I’m still positive about things improving. I still have some work to do."

On playing again this season:

"If I were to get cleared to play and felt good enough to play, the doctor said it was OK, yeah, I would absolutely love to because that’s how I’m wired. That’s my job and I miss not being able to do my job. Once again, that’s another prediction type of question. I just can’t really give you that answer as to where I am. In December, I can probably give you a more realistic answer with four games left. But, sure, would I like to? Absolutely, whether it was one game, two games or a couple plays. I miss playing. When you’ve done something all your career and most your sports life you’ve always played, when the doctor says you can go play again, sure, I would like to do that. But it’s really hard to predict what the situation will be come December.”

On the possibility of the Colts drafting Stanford QB Andrew Luck and mentoring him:

“Once again, that’s a lot of speculation and I don’t think that’s fair to the players that are playing, to speculate on what draft choice the Colts will have. We might win eight in a row starting Sunday and I certainly hope that we do. It’s hard for me to speculate on things like that when I’m not playing and Jeff Saturday and Reggie Wayne, these guys are out there fighting for their lives, trying to win every game. We’ve never talked about what draft pick we were going to have before during the past 13 years, so I don’t think it’s fair to do (that) now.

“There will be times to answer all those questions. Y’all just got to practice a little more patience. You’re just a very impatient group. You want to know what’s going to happen in February with the contract, what’s going to happen in April with the draft. All I can say is those times will arrive in February and in April. Until then I understand it’s fair to ask those questions, but I think we’ll just address them when the times comes.

On Simms' statement that Manning would urge the Colts not to draft Luck:

“Yeah, I don’t talk to Phil. Phil doesn’t talk to me. He did text me after that, saying ‘Hey, sorry to drag your name into this.’ I wrote back, ‘Phil I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ He said, ‘Well on my show, Inside the NFL, I made this statement.’ I said, ‘Phil, I hate to break it to you, but I don’t watch your show, along with a lot of other people that I don’t think watch that show.’ Giving himself a little more credit than probably was merited.

“Hey, this is the time for speculation. People speak what they think your opinion’s going to be, what you’re going to do. That’s what people do. I’ve never made any statements. Anything that’s going on, I’m discussing it with coach Caldwell, Bill Polian. Everybody’s in full awareness of what’s going on and where things are."

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com

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