NEW YORK (Reuters) - Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning will return to practice on a limited basis after being taken off the physically unable to perform list, the team said Monday.

The four-time National Football League most valuable player has been sidelined throughout the pre-season recovering from neck surgery in May and there has been speculation he could miss the Colts' season opener on September 11.

According to NFL rules, any player on the physically unable to perform list on September 3 cannot return to action for a further six weeks.

"The move is a continuation of the rehab process from offseason neck surgery that Manning underwent," the Colts said in a statement. "He will participate in practice on a limited basis. All of his practice work will be scripted and on a controlled basis."

Last week, the Colts signed veteran quarterback Kerry Collins as an insurance play in case Manning is not ready to start the season. The Colts also have quarterbacks Curtis Painter, Dan Orlovsky and Mike Hartline on their roster.

The 35-year-old Manning has started 227 consecutive NFL games, which is the second-longest streak for quarterbacks behind the now retired Brett Favre (297).

(Reporting by Simon Evans in Miami; Editing by Frank Pingue)