INDIANAPOLIS –Andrew Luck is back throwing a football.
An exhale went across those in Colts Nation on Monday when GM Chris Ballard announced that Luck is in the midst of the throwing part of his shoulder rehab.
Even though Luck has been throwing for about a week, the Colts will not have him practicing at the start of Training Camp.
The Colts will put Luck on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list with camp starting this weekend. Luck can come off that list at any time during the preseason and the expectation is for No. 12 to be removed from that list for the start of the regular season.
Right shoulder surgery in January has kept Luck from throwing this entire offseason.
The waiting and guessing game on when Luck would get back to working his way into complete game readiness is now picking up pace, but still not complete.
"Andrew's got to work on getting his throwing motion back, all his strength back," Ballard said on Monday. "Andrew has not had any setbacks at all in his rehab process or with his surgery. He is in good shape; he's in good standing. Long term, his shoulder, the prognosis is very good and that's very positive.
"We're going to continue to follow the doctor's orders and the rehab process. This is a process. We've not put a timetable on this for a reason. There's a process with his rehab and his health and long-term success."
Throughout Luck's rehab, the Colts have been very cautious in committing to a specific timeline for their quarterback's return.
That remains the case with the Colts' goal of keeping Luck away from any "setbacks" as this rehab process approaches the final stages.
"Right now the focus is on each step," Ballard stressed. "I don't worry about when he plays and where he plays. My concern and our concern as an organization, we're all on the same page on this, Mr. Irsay, Chuck (Pagano) and I. We've all had long discussions about what's the next step.
"To me, the next step is getting him into practice. Then once we get to practice, then the next step will be games. If we take out a step of the process, that's where you have a setback. We don't want to cause any setbacks at this point."
It remains to be seen just how much Luck will play in the preseason. The team's preseason opener is Sunday, August 13.
Like he has all offseason long, Ballard would not commit to any needed playing time in the preseason for Luck.
"I'm comfortable when our doctors and our trainers clear him and say he's ready to play," Ballard said. "Whether that means he plays in preseason or doesn't play in preseason, that's up to our doctors and trainers to tell us where he's at and for Andrew to tell us where he's at."
The major date for "Luck watch" comes Sept. 10, when the Colts open up the regular season in Los Angeles.
Looking for the next update on Luck should come Sunday, when Chuck Pagano meets the media prior to the team's first Training Camp practice.
While Ballard waits for his first in-house look at Luck on the field, he's seen the pro inside the building on a daily basis.
"He's been outstanding," Ballard says of how Luck has handled the strenuous rehab.
"He is in a good place. He understands what he's got and what he's got up in front of him. Since the day I walked in this building, watching him work and deal with his teammates has been fun to watch."
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