Stem-Cell Therapy Could Be “Fountain of Youth” for Peyton Manning

Aaron JacobsContributor IIIDecember 20, 2011

Colt's Injured QB Peyton Manning
Colt's Injured QB Peyton ManningAndy Lyons/Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning had neck surgery before this NFL season started, and flew to Europe in order to receive some stem-cell therapy that is used overseas, not in the U.S.

Manning will not play this season, according to Colts vice chairman Bill Polian. Since Manning has missed a majority of this season, many in the sports world are talking about the possibility of the last-place 1-13 Indianapolis Colts drafting quarterback Andrew Luck with the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft. One factor, which many are not talking about, is the wonder of stem-cell procedures and how they can rejuvenate an athlete.

For instance, before this past MLB season, New York Yankees pitcher Bartolo Colon had a stem-cell procedure done on his ailing elbow, which was the reason his career seemed to near the end of the line. The Yankees signed Colon after watching him throw his fastball upward of 93 miles per hour during the offseason in the Dominican Republic.

This was shocking because Colon regained his fastball at the age of 37, when most pitchers are at the end of their career. Could stem cell therapy work similar wonders for 35-year-old Manning?

Well, there are some major differences between the two athletes and their surgeries. Colon had this procedure done on the aforementioned elbow, which gave him trouble for years.  When the elbow healed, it seemed to bring strength back to Colon in his pitching arm, and he regained the velocity he was looking for from that fastball.

Manning had neck surgery, followed by a trip to Europe for stem-cell therapy. A neck injury is more dangerous because if re-injured it could affect other areas such as the brain or spine. In football, unlike baseball, you are hit on nearly every play, and the re-injury risk is much greater for Manning.

There is speculation about a scenario in which Luck is drafted and Manning is traded next season. Would Luck be better for the Colts? In the long run he would probably be the better choice, but if Peyton Manning heals from his injury and comes back 100 percent, he would be a welcome addition to any team that is on the cusp of a championship and need an All-Pro quarterback at the helm.