Manning Faces the Media

Peyton Manning made his first appearance at a Colts practice since training camp began Tuesday at Lucas Oil Stadium, and fielded some questions from the media. How is his rehab from knee surgery going? Will he be ready to start the season against the Chicago Bears on Sept. 7? Find out what Manning has to say inside!

On how he is feeling physically:

"I'm doing OK. I've had a tough month. It's really been a challenge for me, something totally different than I've ever had to experience, just the constant rehab, countless hours, multiple sessions with our physical therapist. Erin Barill is his name. this is the first time we've had a full-time physical therapist, and he's been with us, full-time, I want to say, for the past four years, and he's been great. He's the guy that's really responsible for getting (DE) Dwight Freeney back and (DB) Bob Sanders back. This is the first time I've really had to deal with him on this consistent basis. I've certainly had injuries before, but he and I have gotten pretty close. Certainly up in Terre Haute, he comes over to my house at night. I was here watching the Falcons game at 9 o'clock on Saturday night and we go at 6:30 in the morning. He's been fantastic and he's really pushed me. It's just a constant, everyday process. We have day-to-day goals, just trying to accomplish something different each day, and that's kind of where we are at this point."


Manning walks the field at practice Tuesday
AP Photo/Michael Conroy

On if he will be ready to open the season:

"It has not been a pain-free process. I'd be lying if I said that. That is my goal, to be ready for that first game, but at this point, Erin and I are the ones really dealing with it every single day. The doctors come every four or five days and sort of look at it, but Erin and I are the ones doing it every single day, and he and I have goals each day as far as what we want to accomplish. Certainly, that is our goal and it's been my goal all along. Hopefully it continues to progress up to that point."

On if his rehab is mentally draining:

"Like I said, it's been a challenge, but I feel that so far Erin and I have faced up to it and realized that this is what we have to get done today. I've been able to combine my film study in. Terre Haute was great, being able to watch the film in my room. I was able to go to some meetings, but I did put the rehab ahead of everything. I feel mentally I've been able to stay into it, but the coaches' orders, they've allowed me to put my rehab first and foremost and trying to do whatever I can to get back healthy and get back out there."

On staying out of the public eye:

"I really haven't had a whole lot to say to tell you the truth. I'm talking to you all right now, and this is taking away from my rehab right now. This is just to kind of, maybe, stop some of the whining going on. Like I said, I just didn't want to get into these daily progress reports. I've done nothing but rehab. It looks like we are already in the rumor mill. (Vice President of Public Relations) Craig (Kelley) showed me some story that Channel 13 put out via a cell phone camera which is just not true. I don't wear a knee brace. I wore this (wrap) today for the first time. I really don't wear anything on my knee. I haven't worn a knee brace at all during the rehab process. Anybody that knows me, I wear tight jeans, there's no way a knee brace can fit under my blue jeans anyway. If we are to the point of the cell phone camera, putting that on the news, that's a little disappointing. I guess I'll squash that right now, it's just not true. I just don't wear a knee brace. Hopefully that will put an end to that."

On people wanting assurance that he will play vs. the Bears on Sept. 7:

"Like I said, this has been a totally new process for me and I have learned to put my full trust in Erin. He and I have had some pretty heated discussions. Certainly it has not been the most enjoyable process that I've been through, but he's been great because he's challenged me and he's really kept me on an even keel as far as trying to make constant process. Certainly all along that has been our goal, to try to get back on to the field in order to play in that first game. As to when I'm going to be back on the practice field, that has yet to be determined. It just depends on how everything goes from here on out. I need to have a good week this week. Obviously the sooner the better for me, but I'm still sticking to Erin's advice and going based on how and I feel and I feel that's the best plan for us at this point."

On how long he needs to practice before playing in a game:

"It's hard for me to gauge and to get into that. I can throw. I have been able to keep my arm in shape. I can lift weights with my upper body and my lower body, so I feel I've been able to stay with my strength level. Like I said, as far as when and how much time I need, we will just have to wait and see for that."

On if there is a learning curve going into the new Lucas Oil Stadium:

"I guess so. There certainly will be. That's probably why we went down there (Tuesday). They'll have the two preseason games and I could see us maybe going down there again during normal game hours, between 1-4. One thing we found out today is it looks like the sun is going to shine on our side of the bench and the visiting team is going to be in the shade. I don't know if that's exactly how it was designed to be, but it looks like that's what we are going to have to deal with. The sun doesn't bother me. I kind of like the idea that it will be outside, hopefully some have the top open. I think that's the idea to go down there and try to get used to it and get as comfortable as we can in our home stadium."

On if anything stands out in Lucas Oil Stadium:

"I think I can give you a better answer after these first couple of games. You know, going in the locker room and getting the full feel of the pre-game and the game. I won't be out there playing on Sunday (vs. Buffalo), but I think the players are excited to be out there. I know the fans are excited, and hopefully we can play good football here at home."

On if he would keep his consecutive games started streak intact even if he can't play the whole game vs. Chicago:

"I'm not to the point where I can get into those what-if scenarios. I am on such a day-to-day basis, I really haven't looked much beyond today. I'm going to do my second rehab session as soon as this is over with. That's where I am at this point."

On if he is running at all:

"Some. I'm doing some conditioning."

On if he can describe his rehab:

"I probably could, but I guess I won't. I'm not going to get too much into the specifics of it. It has been quite a process and it has been a challenge to rehabilitate this knee. It's something that we've put countless hours into and we still have a lot of work to do. Like I said, I know I have the right guy in Erin leading me down the right path and hopefully we can just keep progressing."

On how similar his situation is to TE Tom Santi:

"It really isn't, actually. Somehow that's gotten out there that that's been the comparative bar. That's probably been the biggest misnomer. That has not really been an accurate comparison. I've had some different things to deal with than Tom has and that's probably provided a little bit more of a challenge to me. Hopefully he's going to be out there soon, but I've had a little bit of different things to deal with than Tom."

On if his infection is clear:

"The infection has been clear for a long time, actually."


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