INDIANAPOLIS —No. 12 is back in the building.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck on Friday spoke to reporters for the first time since Oct. 12, when he was in his second week on the practice field after working his way back from offseason shoulder surgery.
But since that time, Luck would be shut down indefinitely after experiencing some pain and inflammation in that surgically-repaired shoulder; he was placed on Injured Reserve, officially ending his season, a couple weeks later.
Luck said Friday he's spent much of the past two months seeking treatment in the Netherlands, where he has continued rehabbing, strength training and doing soft tissue exercises with a Dutch-based trainer he's worked with extensively in the past.
Here are some of the highlights from Luck's Friday's press conference:
• Luck said his treatment in the Netherlands involved "nothing crazy … no injections, nothing out of the ordinary." He said there were a couple main reasons why he was rehabbing in Europe: primarily, that's where his trainer and his staff and their facilities are based ("No, I could not have done what I did there here," he said), while he added that he realized "in my mind it was necessary to kind of get away. … I allowed myself to be a distraction" while in Indy, "which I did not want to be. I just needed to keep it simple, and that mean't getting away, and so I think it's been very productive, and it's also nice to be back."
• Luck said he does not, at this time, need any to undergo any other surgical procedures on his shoulder. "I believe in the process that I'm in right now. I've got great help. I hope to continue to get better."
• As usual, Luck was hesitant to provide any sort of specific timelines about his recovery. But he did share that he's yet to throw a football since being shut down for the season, though that step in his rehab work should be re-implemented soon. "I'm on a progression to get to that point. A lot of it still has to do with me and getting my strength back to a better level. I still have a ways to go there … I really don't want to skip steps along the way. … I'm preparing to get a football in my hands very soon."
• Asked if he was concerned he might not be ready to go by the start of the 2018 season, Luck said, 'I don't see that being in jeopardy at all." In fact, he said he's hoping to be back in the fold with the team when it returns for the offseason workout program, which usually begins in the middle of April.
• Luck was also asked, and addressed, the mental side of this whole ordeal. He said he's "not going to act like I'm unique … the injury rate is 100 percent in this league," but added that it hasn't been easy watching his teammates play from the sideline or from afar. "You do not feel like you're part of the team," he said. "You just don't feel like you can contribute. … It's just an odd feeling." He said it was "weird and tough" once he was placed on IR "to sort of switch gears from, 'Alright, I'm preparing to get better to play in this season and to help the team," then switch to, "OK, now I'm preparing to get healthy in general.' It was difficult to come to terms with." Asked what his "low point" has been, Luck said "there was a time probably a couple weeks in from being away from here, early December, (it was) pretty difficult for me to sort of see the positive in things. I got through that, and managed to see the positives in things a little more."