The Washington Times - March 7, 2012, 12:42PM

Quarterback Peyton Manning during a news conference Wednesday acknowledged he is not back to full strength following multiple neck surgeries in 2011. His fitness figures to be a major factor in the upcoming recruitment of his services by the Redskins and several other teams.

At a news conference in Indianapolis announcing his departure from the Colts, Manning answered questions about his recovery and health.


“I’m throwing it pretty well,” he said. “I still got some work to do. I got some progress to make, but I’ve come a long way. I’ve really worked hard. I can’t tell you the hours and the time I’ve put in to working hard. …I’ll continue to work hard and hopefully keep making some progress.

It was difficult to hear the follow-up question on TV, but it sounded as though a reporter asked Manning if he feels like his old self.

“I’m feeling closer and closer,” he said. “I have to remind myself that it is March. I have a hard time doing that at times, but it sure feels comfortable. It feels kind of like home being back out there. And for not being able to go out on the field for September, October, November, that was, personally, difficult. So it’s nice to have that freedom.

“I’m working hard. Like I said, I still have some work to do, but I’m looking forward to doing that work and keep making progress.”