Breaking News: Manning Undergoes Cervical Fusion Surgery

Have Colts fans seen this for the last time? (M.J. Masotti Jr. | Reuters)

Michael Lombardi announced on NFL Network that Peyton Manning had a second neck surgery — this year — earlier this morning (the third in the last two years). ESPN AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky explains that the surgery is a one-level cervical neck fusion. As reported earlier, there is a chance Manning could return to the field in 2011 but his future status is uncertain.

More importantly, what makes this kind of surgery difficult to gauge is that cervical fusions can end athletes careers.

*It should be noted that single level cervical fusions are the least intrusive and lightest of all cervical fusions — improving Manning’s chances to continue playing football.

From the Indianapolis Colts official release:

This procedure is performed regularly throughout the country on persons from all walks of life, including professional football players.  Two former Colts players had this same procedure last winter and have fully resumed their careers.  Rehabilitation from such surgery is typically an involved process.  Therefore, there will be no estimation of a return date at this time.  We will keep Peyton on the active roster until we have a clearer picture of his recovery process.

Injury expect Will Carroll concedes that cervical fusion surgery can be career-ending.

If reports of cervical fusion are correct, this is potentially career ending.

Kuharsky got some information from the Manning family with regard to Peyton’s future on the field and his state of mind as he prepares to recover. Cooper Manning, whose career was ended with a neck injury, provides a more promising perspective when he explains that players have returned from cervical fusion surgery to play in the past.

Everyone is different, but I’ve had a fusion and I’ve known players who have had fusions and went on to play football. … You can get a pretty good range of motion back and much more stability once it heals

Father Archie provides insight into how Peyton will deal with missing his first games and undergoing surgery this close to the season.

I think he’s OK, probably because there’s a little finality to this deal in terms of playing. He’s been on the clock since May. He didn’t make it. Obviously, it’s a big letdown, but he can relax a little bit compared to the intensity of everything he has done trying to rehab.

Coltzilla suggests that our readers visit Kuharksy’s full story for more details.

Other sources provide more details.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen Tweets:

Official: Sources say Manning had surgery this am – cervical fusion with 2-3 month minimum recovery.No word on whether he will be put on IR.

3:19 PM – Manning actually just got out of surgery. No plans for injured reserve as doctors monitor fusion result, per sources.

As any news or information becomes available, Coltzilla will continue to update this story.