Chuck Pagano on Andrew Luck's Recovery from Injury: 'He's Been Through Hell'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2017

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 29:  Head Coach Chuck Pagano and Adrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts share a moment before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on October 29, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The Bengals defeated the Colst 24-23.  (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
John Grieshop/Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano spoke Tuesday about Andrew Luck's arduous recovery from a labrum injury that has kept him out of action for the entirety of the 2017 season.

"He's been through hell," Pagano said, per Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star. "Everybody has. But nobody more than him."

Pagano remained optimistic, however. 

"He will be back," he said, according to George Bremer of the Herald Bulletin. "And he will be back better than ever."

Luck's recovery was "apparently going well," as Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported Sunday, though the possibility remains that Luck could need yet another surgery if he continues to experience pain once he resumes throwing.

As Mortensen reported:

"The next stage is for Luck to engage in a throwing regimen that previously resulted in a setback, with pain and discomfort in the same throwing arm that underwent surgery in mid-January to repair a torn labrum. The specific pain Luck previously experienced was attributed to biceps tendinitis, sources said.

"If the pain returns during the throwing stage, an urgent discussion will occur for Luck to undergo a corrective surgery that involves relocating the biceps tendon that is attached to the repaired labrum, sources said."

Mortensen noted Luck remains optimistic he won't require surgery after undergoing treatment in Europe. However, if he does require another surgery he would likely be shelved for another three to six months. While that wouldn't threaten his status for the 2018 season, it would mean Luck could go nearly a year-and-a-half without significant football action. 

It's also left Luck's future in doubt. When healthy, he has been one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL, throwing for 4,240 yards, 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2016. He missed nine games in 2015 and the entirety of the 2017 campaign, however, as health issues threaten to derail a promising career.

Whatever happens, Pagano has remained supportive of his franchise quarterback.

"Luck never once complained about anything," he noted, per Mike Chappell of Fox59. "When things went well, it was everybody else. When they went poorly, Luck shouldered the blame. A warrior."

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