Luck takes a significant step forward in his return from shoulder surgery

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Andrew Luck took a major step forward Thursday in his return from January shoulder surgery, increasing his practice workload and taking part in limited 7-on-7 drills while working with the scout team.

“Obviously he’s doing more (this week), so he’s doing better and getting stronger,’’ head coach Chuck Pagano said.

During the short window when the media could watch practice, Luck was lofting 40-yard passes from an end zone. He wasn’t throwing at top velocity, but he was throwing deep – kind of the football equivalent of baseball’s long toss.

Luck, who was scheduled to take five to six snaps during 7-on-7 drills, was asked if this rates as a big step in his progress.

“Yes, I think so,’’ he said. “We’re starting to get into environments where all the variables are not controlled, which is obviously football to a certain degree,’’ he said. “Every step is a substantial step, so I’m excited for that.’’

He contined, “I think we’re progressing quite nicely and it would be foolish to start getting close to the finish line and skip (steps)…When I come in the building every day, it used to be `How can I do my job to make this team better?’ Now, I have to give 100 percent to make myself better.’’

After Luck mentioned the “finish line,’’ he was asked if he knew where the finish line was located.

“I have a pretty good idea of where that is,’’ he said. “I think I do, yeah.’’

And that’s…where?

Luck laughed. No answer.

Luck was asked if the arm feels like it did before the surgery, and his answer was revealing and honest.

“It feels different, like it’s still finding its way a little bit,’’ he said. “Certain things, I can do better and some things, it’s still finding its way. It’s still a process of getting it to where it needs to be.’’

Luck conceded he felt some nerves when he returned to practice last week.

“You get nervous before your first throw to a wide receiver running a route -- `I hope I complete it,’ ‘’ he said. “I don’t want to look bad.’’

Did he complete it?

“Yes,’’ he said. “Yes I did.’’

During the process, Luck has utilized a relatively new piece of technology, the modusQB, which is a sleeve with sensors that gathers biomechanical data on an athlete’s throwing arm and motion. The sleeve measures all sorts of data, including workload, the metrics of each throw and other numbers. It’s proven useful for the doctors and trainers who have overseen the quarterback’s rehab.

“I’ve asked not to look or see any of the numbers because I don’t need another thing to cloud my vision, but it’s good for the guys who are helping me out,’’ Luck said. “It puts some numbers behind their observations and moving forward it will be helpful.’’

Asked Thursday if he trusts his arm, Luck smiled.

“I trust my arm more today than I did yesterday, and that’s how it has to be every day and every week moving forward,’’ he said.

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