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Irsay: No ones knows if Manning will ever play again

Indianapolis Colts v Jacksonville Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 01: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts signs autographs before the kickoff against the Jacksonville Jaguars January 1 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

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Colts owner Jim Irsay has said in a variety of ways that he plans to bring Peyton Manning back to the Colts in 2012 if Manning is healthy.

A fact that shouldn’t be forgotten: No one knows if Manning will ever be healthy again.

Irsay pointed this out during in Monday press conference. He simply wasn’t sure if Manning will ever play again. Manning says that he was speaking with former Vice Chairman Bill Polian about his recovery Monday before Polian was fired.

“That’s what Bill and I were talking about when he was pulled away -- I asked him about my physical checkpoints,” Manning told Chris Mortensen of “I wanted to know if he thought Feb. 7 or 8 [was] a good time for the next one and he told me just make it March 1st. Honestly, I don’t know. My rehab is a marathon.”

The next contractual checkpoint is March 8, when Manning’s bonus is due.

A lot of be written about Manning before then, but so much of this story is about Manning being able to prove he can play again over the next two months. And no one knows if that will happen.