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Will Luck Be Ready For Week One?

Colts QB Andrew Luck "not worried" about return as he continues to recover from offseason shoulder surgery.
Saturday marked Day 1 of Colts training camp.
 
Quarterback Andrew Luck's Q&A :
 
How was your offseason?
“It was nice. A lot of time in this building. A lot of time rehabbing, but it was enjoyable. It actually was.”
 
How did it feel when you finally started throwing almost two weeks ago?
“There was no revelation. There was no aha moment. It was just another part of the process. I don’t want to put any more stock in it than any other part of this rehab process, if that makes sense. It’s a step. It’s gotten better every day, and hopefully we can keep taking the next steps.”
 
Do you feel like your shoulder is getting stronger each time you go out there?
“Yeah, I do. I do. I feel like I’ve improved a lot and still need to improve, obviously. And not just the shoulder, I think when you have a surgery your whole body feels it in a sense. I started to feel like I’m putting weight back on that maybe I didn’t have and sort of getting some strength and power and explosiveness back. And that’s very exciting.”
 
What are the next steps? What other hurdles do you have to clear?
“Yeah, I think it’s continue on this throwing progression and continue to get stronger and continue to get comfortable in all positions. It’s hard for me to look beyond really today’s rehab session, because I think that’s the approach I have to take and anybody has to take, if you want to get truly healthy and if you want to get better than you were before an injury. So my focus has really everyday been, ‘Okay, how can I get better than I was yesterday?’ And I think that’s been positive so far, and I don’t want to change that approach just because training camp has started or practice is going.”
 
On that note, if you miss some practice time, which we expect, and you have a condensed preseason, how much will you lose in terms of timing or repertoire with your receivers? You’re a guy that likes to be out at practice every single day. 
“I do. I love being out there.”
 
Can you make that up? Can you manufacture that in some way?
“That’s a good question. It’s sort of one I don’t want to think about, because it doesn’t affect me today, if you will. But yeah, I love practice, and I’d love to be out there for every practice of every week, and I know that at some point I will be able to do that. No one wants to miss practice. No one wants to miss training camp. But I’m confident that when the time is right for me and when I’m able to practice, whenever that is, that I’ll be up to speed and good enough to be productive in games and give this team my best.”
 
Have you caught wind of the freak out that Colts Nation has been having about you not throwing yet? Have you noticed it?
“No, I have not.”
 
Does it surprise you?
“Are you telling me there was a freak-out?”
 
There still is a freak out.
“There is a freak-out? I would say that there’s no reason to freak out. I will be better than I was coming into this. I’ll be better coming out of it. I know that. I don’t know what day it’s going to be. I don’t know what week. I don’t know when it’s going to be, but I definitely will be. And there’s no reason to freak out. And on that note, football is the greatest team game in the world. No one person is bigger than the team, and I’ve always felt that. And I know we’ve got a solid, solid team that’s forming at this complex, and so no reason to freak out.”
 
How many days a week are you rehabbing?
“Five, six days a week.”
 
You’re on a schedule and you guys know where you need to be at each phase. So does your schedule show that you need to be ready here? You need to be ready for September 10th? Is the schedule there but you’re not sharing?
“Yes and no. I think from what I understand, everybody responds to surgeries differently. And everybody is truly, truly different. I think there are rough parameters that you’d say, ‘Yeah, maybe you should be here by this date or should be there by this date.’ I felt like, how I’ve progressed is how I needed to progress and how my body and how my shoulder would handle things. So I haven’t been too worried or too caught up in any of the be here by a certain date or here by a certain date. Because then I think it’s unfair to the process that I’m going through with doctors, trainers, rehab, everybody. And it’s also a dangerous game to sort of count backwards from a certain date and say, ‘Alright, there’s a date in late August or September or whenever that you have to be ready.’ I think that’s completely unfair to the process and will end up causing worse issues if you’re skipping steps in the long term and probably in the short term, then if you really truly do it right. And that’s what I feel good about is because I know we’re doing this right. I really do. Great doctors, great physical therapists, great strength work, great conditioning work, great rehab work. And I don’t feel like we’re skipping any steps. I feel like, I know I’ve tried to be and everybody around, very methodical through this whole process. And we’re not going to rush it to rush it. I think that’d be the worst thing we could do.”
 
What is the end game to be in the rehab process?
“The end game is for me to be better than I was before I got injured. I don’t want to put a date on that, if that makes sense. I think that’s really unfair. I know that when I’m playing, things are going to be weird for a second. The guys that I’ve talked to that have gone through shoulder injuries and have been in this position – it’s different and you’ve got to take a little time to sort of find the groove, if you will, and find the rhythm. I think if we continue to stay vigilant with this process doing it the right way, that I will find that groove and I will be better than I was going in.”
 
Fans hear that you’re throwing and think you’re winging the football around. Did you start with a football? What is the process of regaining throwing?
“The process of beginning to throw starts way before picking up a tennis ball. The process starts really when the surgery ended. But there’s a lot of strength work, mobility, range of motion and stability work that goes into just being able to pick up something, let alone wing back and sort of tossing it. I hesitate to get into specifics of where I was, but I started with a tennis ball.”
 
Have you thrown a football yet?
“I’m not going to get into any more specifics. I started with a tennis ball in honor of Wimbledon – that was fun to watch.”
 
How tough has this process been mentally for you?
“The mental part was not fun and was not easy. Patience is a virtue and it’s tested my patience. I know at times that I can be unpleasant to be around with guys that I work with on a daily basis for eight, nine hours a day. I commend everybody’s patience handling me at certain times. I think that, and this is cheesy and corny, but I do think those mental tests and physical tests will then make me better than I was before – mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually – whatever you want to call it. I do think I have the opportunity to improve in all those areas.”
 
Does your arm feel different than it did last year?
“Yes, it does feel different than it did last year. I still have a ways to go with strength. But I know that every day it’s improved. I really feel this way, especially in the past couple weeks and month that, ‘Wow, I see a light at the end of the tunnel,’ if you will. I truly feel in my mind and my heart that I know I’m going to be better. I really, really know that I’m going to be better. I’m really trying not to lose focus of that and not get sideways just because we have a team practice tomorrow. To everybody’s credit in this building from Mr. (Jim) Irsay to Chris Ballard to Chuck (Pagano) to Chud (Rob Chudzinski) to Schotty (Brian Schottenheimer) to the doctors and trainers, I have not felt any undue pressure or unwarranted pressure to do something that might not be in my best self-interest. It’s weird to sort of be selfish in a sense, but from talking to guys and the trainers and the doctors and everybody, you sort of have to make sure you take care of yourself in a situation like this. I feel like what the Colts are providing is what’s best for me absolutely and that’s why I’m here, that’s why I’ve been here rehabbing and that’s why I’ve been here training.”
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