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The Curious Case of Andrew Luck

QB's setback during rehab from shoulder surgery is unusual, and its cause is still hard to pin down

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Nine months after shoulder surgery, Andrew Luck has stopped throwing again, and doctors still aren't sure what the problem is.

Quarterbacks from Drew Brees to Cam Newton have come back from labrum surgery like Luck's -- Indianapolis sports injury expert Will Carroll says recovery typically takes three-to-six months, and would be even shorter for people who don't throw footballs for a living.

But Luck never took the field during training camp, and has been shut down again after a brief return to practice. Carroll says it could be the stitches doctors used to anchor the labrum to the shoulder have given way. But he says that's extremely unusual, occurring fewer than one time in 10, and usually linked to trying to come back too quickly. He says the Colts have been extra cautious about allowing Luck to resume throwing.

Carroll says infection could delay recovery, but there's no sign that that's the problem. He says it appears doctors are looking at whether scar tissue might be the culprit -- that, too, happens 10-to-15% of the time, but normally would be something a patient would just work through.

Carroll says it's not unusual Luck has been consulting multiple doctors -- what's unusual is they still can't agree on what's wrong.

Andrew Luck (Photo: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

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