Dr. Michael Kaplan said on ESPN Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 that he absolutely expects Peyton Manning to be playing QB in the NFL in 2012. Kaplan stated that with the type of surgery that Peyton received, the end result is one that actually strengthens the neck and spine. He went on to say that of the typical patient who undergoes this type of surgery, 80% make a full and complete recovery.
Kaplan also stressed that by full and complete recovery, he was referring to a complete and total regeneration of both the nerve and triceps muscle. In addition, Dr. Kaplan said that considering Manning’s age and the fact that he is a world class athlete, the odds of his making a complete recovery would be even greater and therefore more like 90% or higher.
Now, I have heard lots and lots of armchair analysts selling the gloom and doom on Manning’s injury and stressing the possibility, if not likelihood, that Peyton will never play again. I have not however, heard any doctors take on the subject.
I can’t say I know all that much about Dr. Kaplan, other than the fact that he seems to be ESPN’s go to guy. But I have to admit, it feels REALLY REALLY GOOD to hear someone who is familiar and knowledgeable on the subject come out and give such a positive, optimistic outlook.
It will be a very sad day when Mr. Irsay cuts his final tie to the past and releases the great Peyton Manning. But the only thing sadder would be for me to never see my hero throw another pass in the NFL. So if it has to be that my Colts must move on, then I will go out and buy my #18 jersey in a strange color, and for a few years at least, I will learn to share my fandom with another team.