We may have seen the last of Peyton Manning in the National Football League.
Sources have told Yahoo! Sports that Manning's recovery from neck surgery is going so poorly, that he might have to retire because of it, thus ending any interest the San Francisco 49ers would have in pursuing him.
According to the sources, it isn't Manning's vertebrae that are giving him problems but his nerves are not healing as quickly as Manning and the Colts would like. Two sources are afraid that the velocity on his passes will never return after throwing the ball since December and still not seeing any change.
"If you're getting consistent improvement, then that's OK. Even if it's going from lifting 10 pounds to 15 pounds to 20 pounds over a stretch of weeks, that's fine," said a doctor who has not seen Manning but has a background in spinal surgery. "If you hit a plateau, that's a problem. ... Now, I say that, but I also tell patients who have been through it that it can take up to a year to find out exactly how much strength you're going to get back.
"Right now, Peyton is at about six months. He should have a much better idea by July or August just how far he's going to get ... even then, that's only a part of it. You can tell about 80 percent of how the nerves and the muscles are healing by rehab. What you really have to see is how his arm holds up when he starts to throw. Does he have the same velocity on the 15-yard out? Can he throw the 60-yard pass? Can he throw for 30 minutes before his arm gets tired? Can he throw for an hour? It's a very complicated process."