In a statement released by the Colts, Peyton Manning's neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Watkins reports:
X-ray and CT examination of the surgical area shows that the fusion performed in September has achieved firm fixation. Peyton will now be allowed to increase the intensity and breadth of his workouts as tolerated. There remains every indication that his recovery will continue. There still is no timetable for Peyton’s return to practice, which is one of many steps in his expected return to game action.
This is indeed encouraging news, and one of the first positive statements Colts' fans have heard in a while about the recovery of their quarterback. Phil B. Wilson of the Indy Star shared an interesting detail today that Kelvin Hayden's doctors had told him (Hayden) to take 3-4 months to do nothing but rest after the same surgery. So the fact that Peyton had essentially rested for 3 months is not out of the question. As a fan, it is nearly impossible to temper my expectations, but it's important that we do... the next step likely includes only light jogging and increased weight training. We won't hear that Manning is back at practice any time soon. Additionally, I am still eager to hear about the "nerve regeneration" issue that has been so prominent until now. Phil B. guessed that it would be 2-3 weeks before he is in any kind of shape to practice. At this point, I'll take that.