Andrew Luck: Indianapolis Colts, NFL Wait On His Shoulder

The status of Andrew Luck’s shoulder and his overall health have the Indianapolis Colts and the NFL waiting.

If it were up to Andrew Luck, I have no doubt that he would already be launching the ball around in preparation of the 2017 season for the Indianapolis Colts. Unfortunately, shoulder repairs take time no matter how determined you are.

What is the status of Andrew Luck? When will Andrew Luck be ready to play? Will Andrew Luck be the same?

Nobody asks these questions more than the man, himself. Only Luck knows how his shoulder truly feels. Even then, optimism, antagonism, pain, relief, depression, hope, fear, and confidence all play a part in confusing matters. One of the toughest things to deal with is the uncertainty, and it can be quite the roller coaster of emotions.

The truth of the matter is that if someone offers an answer, they likely don’t know what they are talking about. Without knowing the exact details, no one really can know. Even then, we all heal differently. Our minds play a tremendous role. The rehabilitation process is a fine line—you can push too hard, but you can not push hard enough also.

All of these questions will be answered in time. They can be assisted by hard work, determination, and a positive attitude, but time is the key. How much time? Well, doctors and therapists may offer an educated idea, but every shoulder is different. Every injury is different. There are so many factors involved that again, if someone offers an answer…well, you know where I’m headed.

You may be asking yourself: What could a guy that calls himself Backwoods possibly know about anything? Another good question and, in most cases, I would refrain from answering. In this case, however, I am more qualified than most. I have been there, and beyond, five times over.

I’ve had success, and also had failure. I have had success, followed by failure. I have had the misfortune of learning terms like multi-directional instability, torn labrum, subluxation, slap tear, recurring, dislocation, capsular shift, capsular shrinkage, and a plethora of others that I was surprised even the doctors could pronounce.

Jim Irsay said via Twitter:

Truthfully, as outsiders all we really know is that he did indeed have shoulder surgery back in January. I have not found any details on the injury or the type of repair done. To me this is extremely concerning. If it were a simple rotator cuff repair done arthroscopically, why not say so? Those are quite common, minimally invasive, and have very high success rates. Obviously it was more than that.

The fear is in not knowing. Terms like “outpatient surgery” and “injury that lingered” might make it sound not so bad. But those terms offer very little insight. When I hear those terms, I hear:

  1. He did not stay overnight in the hospital, and
  2. That it has been a recurring issue.

With a recurring issue, the possibility of extensive damage is possible. Simply put, if you have damage inside your shoulder and continue to push it, it can cause more damage.

Don’t get me wrong, hope is not lost. Shoulder repairs are very common and full recoveries are also very common, even with extensive damage. Andrew Luck is a world class athlete known for hard work and determination. Those specific traits are extremely important in handling the recovery process. The determination required to get where he wants to be is nothing compared to the determination to get where he has already been.

The advice for Andrew Luck is plain: tread carefully! The world will scream at you to get back as soon as possible. Don’t get me wrong, the sooner the better by all means. But walk before you run. When you are ready to run, walk some more. It will feel better before it is better. Deadlines and goals are useful in most things, but not with this. The biggest mistake you can make is to jump too soon.

Secondly, though, the fans must remain patient. Even upon his return. It will take time to adjust. You cannot go through these things without it taking a mental toll as well. Once he comes back, he will encounter worries and uncertainties. Waves of them. He will worry about the first hit he takes. He will worry about the first hit he takes that causes pain, about the first hit he takes that causes pain that lingers. Moreover, he will worry about the first deep ball, and again with the first deep ball that is off the mark. So on, and so on.

Expect these things, but also, expect them to ease with time. He will have to learn to trust his shoulder. He will have to secure faith in its dependability.

The urgency we all feel is our greatest enemy. In order for sustainable success, this must be done right. I know from my own experience. You want to push hard and blaze through it, but with a shoulder especially, that can set you back even farther.

It could always be worse. Just imagine how RG3 feels.

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