Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is confident his injured right shoulder will not require further surgery.
Luck has not played at all this season after electing to go under knife at the end of the previous campaign to fix an issue that dates back to 2015, and has missed 26 of the team's past 48 NFL games.
He was added to the injured reserve list on November 2 after he continued to experience soreness in his surgically repaired throwing shoulder and spent a month in Europe finding alternative ways to treat his shoulder, before recently returning to Indianapolis.
But the 28-year-old is confident his luck is changing and that further surgical work will not be needed.
"My gut and my feeling tells me I won't need another surgery," Luck told a news conference.
"I'm very optimistic. I feel really good today I do not think I need another surgery. I believe in the process I'm in right now. I plan on being ready for everything."
The quarterback has not thrown a football in the past eight weeks but says he is planning to start a throwing program as soon as he can.
"I'm on a progression to get to that point and a lot of it still has to do with me and getting my strength back to a better level," he added.
"I still have a ways to go to get there and I really don't want to skip any steps along the way. I'm in the process of preparing to get a football in my hands pretty soon."
Luck is expected to start throwing next week after the Colts' regular-season finale to gauge his progress, but he also opened up about what it is like to be on the injured reserve list while he continues to recover.
"With football, what I value most about it are your team-mates. Competing against guys, to miss that is difficult," Luck said.
"You do not feel like you're a part of the team. It feels weird. I don't feel I'm a part of this team right now.
"You just don't feel like you can contribute. You try and you try to help out (Jacoby Brissett) and the other QBs, but it's just an odd feeling."
The Colts (3-12) have certainly struggled this season without Luck as they sit at the bottom of the AFC South standings. Indianapolis will finish their regular season Sunday at home against the Houston Texans (4-11).