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Nick Collins six months away from knowing if he can play again

Green Bay Packers v Carolina Panthers

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 18: Play is stoped as Nick Collins #36 of the Green Bay Packers is injured and taken off the field on a stretcher against the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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Packers safety Nick Collins is facing a lengthy recovery after having cervical fusion surgery on Thursday following a Week Two neck injury.

Collins’s agent, Alan Herman, told Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel that it won’t be until some time next year that Collins has an idea whether he’ll be able to resume his NFL career.

“He felt good about everything,” Herman said. “He felt it went well. The point that was made was the you don’t know until six months down the road. You see how the healing process goes. You can’t gauge what will happen, whether there will be any narrowing with the [spinal] canal or remaining tissue. That will be the determining factor as far as his career. It’s all based on the healing process.”

Collins is not in pain and can perform the normal function of daily life, and he might not have needed the surgery at all if he were just an average joe and not a football player. But Collins wanted the surgery because it gave him his best chance to return to the field. He still has a long way to go before he’ll know whether that’s a realistic possibility.