Peyton Manning Conference Call

Peyton Manning held a conference call with the media Thursday as the Colts opened training camp in Terre Haute without him. Find out about Manning's injury, how his recovery is going and when he expects to re-join his teammates inside!

On still being in Indianapolis as training camp opens in Terre Haute:

"I'm disappointed I can't be there today. I've never missed a practice or a meeting or an organized team activity in my whole career, and I'm certainly disappointed I can't be there with all the guys on the first day of training camp. But as the cliché goes: following doctor's orders. I'm in a positive frame of mind. I hope to be up there as soon as the doctors release me and tell me I can get up there. I'm just taking it day-to-day and hoping to get better. My goal is to get up there as soon as I possibly can."

On the reasons for staying in Indianapolis:

"I have my leg constantly compressed and elevated. I'm still on IV antibiotics and still trying to keep the risk of infection from returning as low as possible. We feel at this point that the infection has resolved itself, but to be up there around 150 guys is probably not the smartest thing at this point. Once we feel like this infection is totally out of the woods and maybe not as susceptible to it returning, then they feel like it will be safe for me to return.

"My goal when we first had the surgery (July 14) was that I would still be able to report to training camp on time, but we're just sort of being a bit cautious about it. Once I get cleared, hopefully I can get up there. I'll still be somewhat inactive, but I would just as soon be inactive up in Terre Haute at training camp."


Manning is anxious to join his teammates in Terre Haute
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

On when he might report to Terre Haute:

"I really don't know. Obviously it's as soon as possible. It could be as soon as (Friday), it could be sometime next week. They really haven't given me any time frame. I've really tried to be patient and tried to be positive. I really haven't hounded the doctors: ‘Hey, when can I get up there? When can I get up there?' I'm not trying to influence their decision. I'm just trying to take their advice and do whatever I can, although it's pretty limited on what I can do as far as getting better. It's more just letting the medicine and letting the time take its course, and at this point just trying to ensure the infection is gone and trying to control the (swelling)."

On if he had a date he needed to return:

"Once again it's hard for me to say that because this is pretty uncharted territory for me. I really don't have an idea of how much time I need because I've never had to experience it. I've always taken all the repetitions and had a hundred percent of the participation in training camp and minicamps and whatnot. So it's a little uncharted territory for me. Obviously you hope through 11 years with me ... with the minicamps and the summer school that I have enough deposits in the bank in order to be ready for this season maybe without as much training camp time.

"Now, to think you can just parachute in there on Sunday into the new stadium on the day of the Bears game and think you're ready to go is ridiculous, so obviously I'm going to need some time and I'm going to want some time and I hope that can be as much as possible. Obviously it's whatever the doctors tell me and however the trainers and the rehab comes along, but the sooner I can get out there the better."

On when he realized he would need surgery:

"I woke up 10 days ago on Monday in New Orleans, we had just finished our high school football camp that we have, and I woke up Monday morning in severe pain, which was brand new. I had been experiencing some swelling throughout the offseason, but it never caused me to miss any sort of workout. I really had a great offseason as far as weightlifting, my throwing, my running and my conditioning were all normal as in years past. I was controlling the swelling with treatment and with occasional drainings. We felt like we had control of it, with me just experiencing a little pain.

"But I woke up that Monday in severe pain and really had trouble walking. I knew something wasn't right, and I jumped on a plane and flew back to Indianapolis right away and determined that there was an infection and that's what caused this pain. I guess it would be similar to, I've never had it, but to what appendicitis can feel like and how an infection can cause that much pain. Therefore, we decided we needed to take some course of action so we decided to remove the bursa sac."

On the timetable for his surgery:

"It was one day, like I said it really happened pretty fast. I certainly didn't see it coming. It was something that was very unexpected, but knowing my body pretty well I knew something wasn't quite right. Certainly, I had planned to enjoy that last week before training camp. I was going to kind of just do what I normally do and work out, relax and probably play a little golf and then the next thing you know I'm on the operating table back in Indianapolis. That's not the way I wanted to spend my last week before camp, and I'm certainly not happy about not being able to be at camp on time. It's never a good time to have surgery, but we feel like we caught it early enough and in the early signs of the infection and were able to get it removed, and hopefully that will allow me to get back. It's certainly better now than in week four I guess."

On if he will be ready for the season-opener Sept. 7 against the Chicago Bears:

"It's really hard for me to say. I've really tried to take this on a day-to-day or two or three days and try to make some progress as it goes along. Like I said, at this point I really haven't been able to do a whole lot. I can do some of my upper body stuff. With my right arm I can do my rotator cuff and toss the ball around. I have an IV in my left arm which prevents me from doing the stuff with my left arm. Four to six weeks is the number that the doctors came out with and what they thought. In dealing with this and talking to some other people and other athletes and some of the doctors I know, this is not an extremely common injury as far as athletes are concerned. It's really more common in carpenters and maybe plumbers, people that are constantly banging on their knees, so it's a little bit new and a little bit uncommon. I certainly hope, like Coach Dungy said (Tuesday), that it's closer to four weeks than six weeks."


Manning is limited now, but hopes to be back to full strength soon
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

On what he can do right now:

"Well, I can watch film. I can read. I can watch TV. I can catch up on the phone with some friends, and those are kind of the main things I've been doing. Being immobilized and trying to follow doctor's orders as far as keeping my leg elevated. I've really tried to be positive and disciplined in doing that and staying off my feet. I'll get up and walk around occasionally, but I pretty much try to use my crutches most of the time and keep pressure off the leg. I've tried to be a pretty disciplined patient as far as doing whatever I can to help control the swelling.

"That's basically what I've been doing. I have film set up so I've been able to watch film of some different things that (Offensive Coordinator) Tom Moore and (Associate Head Coach) Jim Caldwell wanted me to look at, so I've been able to do that. I've caught up on all of my autograph signings for the offseason so I'm covered on that as far as auction requests and fan mail. I've had a lot of phone calls from a lot of friends and all of my teammates have been supportive. They've been by to see me, which I certainly appreciate, and my spirits are high as they can be and hopefully I can be there soon."

On how long he will be immobilized:

"It's hard to say. The doctor comes by every day and checks on me, checks how the swelling is going, checks to see if the infection is decreasing. We feel like it has somewhat resolved itself, although anytime you have tubes inside of you, I have a tube in my arm and a drain in my knee, so we are always trying to prevent infection. Obviously, I'm prepared to be immobilized for a bit more until the swelling resolves itself. I've tried to be patient, which is what I've always told guys that I've experienced with injuries. You always hear ‘as soon as you are completely healthy, you still probably need to take seven more days and be sure because you don't want to come back too quick.' I've really tried to remind myself of that advice that I've given other players. Obviously, I want to be back there as soon as possible, but I sure want to try and put this entire injury behind me without having to deal with it any more beyond this point."

On advice he gave to Jim Sorgi:

"I think we needed some more arms in training camp. I think (Jared Lorenzen and Quinn Gray) will certainly help out. This is a great opportunity for Jim Sorgi. I've always felt badly for Jim. In the preseason, he was playing with a lot of guys that weren't going to make the team and didn't block for him real well and never made a whole lot of plays for him, so the opportunity for him now to get some repetitions with the first team and get some solid protection is more fair to him and it's a great opportunity for him. I think Jim will do fine. I think he's gotten better every year with his limited playing time. He's used his time on the sidelines and in the meeting room to improve his knowledge and to be more confident in the system. I think he will do just fine in training camp and in the preseason games. It will be a good experience for him."

On being in the same system for 11 years:

"It's pretty rare. I think it kind of goes together. When your coordinator calls good plays, hopefully the quarterback should be able to execute those plays and look pretty good. When that happens, they decide to keep the coordinator and they decide to keep the quarterback. I think (Offensive Coordinator) Tom (Moore) and I have worked well together these past 10 years and of course having (Offensive Line Coach) Howard (Mudd) here has been a great asset for me, always having outstanding protection. Howard is always thinking about protection and protecting the quarterback, which as a quarterback you can certainly appreciate that. I really feel there are a number of guys on our staff that, with the change (in 2002), with the addition of Coach (Tony) Dungy and what (Associate Head Coach) Jim Caldwell have done for me as a quarterback, I feel I have truly improved my game since the arrival of Coach Dungy. A lot of that has to do with Coach Dungy and his influence, but also Jim Caldwell being with me on a day-to-day basis. I think our receivers have improved as a group since the arrival of (Wide Receivers Coach) Clyde Christensen. Before the arrival of Clyde, you had Marvin (Harrison) and a committee, but since Clyde has arrived you have seen a pretty collective group of guys make a lot of plays. Obviously Reggie Wayne was always going to be a great player and we know that, but he elevated his game. And you take guys like (former Colt Brandon) Stokley and now we hope (Anthony) Gonzalez develops. It's a real credit to Clyde. I'm certainly indebted to a lot of those coaches."


Even knee surgery didn't stop Manning from throwing a bit last week
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

On the last time he's taken a week off from throwing:

"Actually, I tossed it around a little bit last week. I can kind of throw without having to move my leg a little bit. It's not too uncommon. In fact, in years past I have taken probably a week off from throwing right before camp. Obviously, once (Friday) starts, you are really going to be throwing a lot of passes every day and I have rested my arm from that standpoint in order to be fresh. I've actually probably done it a little bit more the older I've gotten before camp, so that part really has not been a concern. I feel like my arm can be fresh. I'm still able to stretch it and, like I said, I have a trainer that comes over and does my stretching and my mobilization exercises and I do my rotator cuff stuff. Certainly there's nothing like throwing to a moving target starting in practice (Friday), but the past couple of years I have limited my number of throws during practice and during training camp, especially during these two-a-days. In years past I've thrown maybe 120 balls each practice, so that's 240 passes a day and that's not something I need to be doing anymore entering my 11th season. I'm trying to control the number of reps and be more selective in order to have my arm fresh and ready for September and, ideally, have it being as live in November and December, and hopefully January, as it is in September. I'm not necessarily concerned about that at this point."

On how the surgery will affect his mobility on the field:

"Well it's probably just like going from a 4.4 (40-yard dash time) to a 4.6. Once again, you are kind of talking about minute details there. The impression I got is that once this situation gets resolved and we get the swelling back down, then of course the next step is to get my range of motion back, that hopefully everything should pretty much return to normal. Structurally, you are dealing with a solid knee still as opposed to having a ligament replaced or repaired, so the understanding that I have is once this resolves itself the knee will go back to normal."

On the amount of pain he is in:

"I'm really not in very much pain. I have pain medicine, but I have not had to take any since about the second day after the surgery, so going on about eight days now, I've not had to take any pain medicine, which is encouraging. The doctors think that no pain means the infection should be clearing right now, so those are all positive signs."

On if rehab will be necessary:

"Like I said, I'm not a doctor and certainly the idea is for the infection to clear itself completely, which at this point we feel it's almost there, if not there, at this point. Still, anytime you are on an IV you still try to be smart about it. We are just trying to get the swelling to decrease to where the knee gets back to looking like a normal knee and then get the stitches taken out and then begin some sort of range-of-motion rehab. As far as a time frame for all of those things, I really don't have one, I'm just going on the doctor's advice as they check me daily and see if I'm making progress and going on their order. Those are the issues we are dealing with and hopefully those things can resolve themselves."

On when he plans to report to camp:

"I really don't know. Like I said, I hope it's tomorrow, I really do. I guess there's a possibility it could be if they feel like things are progressing. Like I said, when I report there, if and when I report, I still am prepared to be somewhat immobilized, but I would rather do that in Terre Haute than here in Indianapolis. I can be around the trainers, who are all there in Terre Haute. I've always have a video film set up in my dorm room where I can watch practice and keep tabs. One thing I plan to do, and feel like I'm already doing at this point, is even though I won't be able to participate physically on the field, mentally I still want to stay sharp with the film study, knowing what's going on at practice, knowing what plays we are focusing on and I can have conversations with the coaches over the phone or when they come by the room to visit. Those are things I would like to get up there and participate in, although the whole time the number one focus being any sort of rehab that I can do. It's just a matter of when I can start that rehab and at this point we are still on a day-to-day basis."

On whether he thinks the team would prefer he not come to camp for a while in order to make sure he doesn't push too hard to return:

"I've explained to them what my wishes are once the doctors have cleared me. If I have to be laid up in bed immobilized, I would just as soon it be in Terre Haute in my dorm room as opposed to Indianapolis. If I'm laying up in bed, I would just as soon be there because the trainers are two minutes away. Right now, all of my trainers are an hour and twenty minutes away. There is absolutely no chance I'm going to have as good-looking of a nurse as I've had for the past two weeks in my wife, Ashley. I think she missed her calling. She has taken absolute great care of me. She puts my IV in every day and she has helped me tremendously, although I think part of her hopes I get a good report so she can get me out of the house and keep from driving her crazy. She has just taken great care of me. That's my goal, is to get up there and I feel like I can improve up there maybe even more so than I can here because I can still be off of it, rest it, I can have my trainers come by to check on me, I can get my rotator stuff done with a trainer and I can have more access to video and updated practices as opposed to being here. At the same time, I'm going to follow doctor's orders and be smart about it and get up there as soon as they say I can go."

On how many stitches he received:

"I haven't counted. I really haven't looked at it a whole lot. I've had it compressed and covered in bandages and sleeves the whole time, so I really haven't counted."


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