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Manning puts surgery and 'woe is me' in the rearview mirror

Peyton Manning admits that he wandered around in a funk after neck surgery this month shelved him indefinitely.

"I walked around for a while angry, in a bad mood. ... 'Woe is me,'" Manning told The Indianapolis Star on Friday. "I've gotten over that. It doesn't do any good. I'm learning to deal with it and trying to have a good attitude. I'm not walking around looking for any pity party."

"I do hope to get healthy, and when I'm healthy and cleared to play, I want to be out there," Manning said. "This is new to me."

The Colts quarterback shed light on what led him to surgery. After experiencing temporary neck pain in February, he spent the next three months throwing without any noticeable discomfort.

"March, April and the first part of May were normal and great. I was throwing a lot," Manning told the newspaper.

It was late May when the pain became heightened, leading to his first of two neck surgeries on May 23.

"You can only do so much in a gym," he said of the period after he was cleared to practice on Aug. 29. "I had to get out there. I kept saying, 'Boy, things have got to improve,' and I had been told they could."

As Manning's rehabilitation stagnated, leading to a second surgery, he said he "had no choice but to trust the doctors and what they were saying."

Based on everything Manning and the team have shared, the ill-fated timing of the surgeries can't be pinned on the quarterback. If he was healthy and throwing through the early offseason -- during a lockout that prevented him from working with Colts trainers -- any different timeline for Manning's surgeries seems improbable. Indy's season is in wreckage right now, and it's forcing the team to confront the fact that even if Manning returns to the field, it won't be forever.

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