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Luck throwing 'fair, intense amount' without pain

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With Matt Hasselbeck preparing for his third straight start in Indy, Andrew Luck is working hard behind the scenes to make his return to the field.

The Colts starting quarterback told reporters on Wednesday that he has been throwing a "fair, intense amount" without any pain, according to Zak Keefer of The Indianapolis Star.

The Colts surprised the league last month by announcing that Luck would miss two to six weeks with a lacerated kidney and a partial tear of an abdominal muscle suffered against the Broncos in Week 9. The injuries required no surgery.

"It's more time than anything else," coach Chuck Pagano said Wednesday of Luck's rehab, while refusing to provide a more detailed timeline for the fourth-year passer's return.

Roughly three weeks removed from the injury, Luck is expected to play by mid-December, per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. If he doesn't suit up against the Jaguars in Week 14, we'd expect Luck to play the following week against Houston.

Locked in a first-place tie with the Texans atop the AFC South, the Colts (6-5) haven't exactly missed Luck. The 40-year-old Hasselbeck is 4-0 as a starter and playing well, but any suggestion of a quarterback controversy is pure nonsense.

With Luck throwing again and winding his way back to full health, he'll be thrust into the lineup as soon as physically possible.

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