Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning had neck surgery on Thursday, his third in 19 months, and will be sidelined for an unspecified amount of time, the National Football League (NFL) team said.

The four-time most valuable player was already ruled out of his team's season opener this Sunday having not fully recovered from a previous neck operation in May.

Peyton has undergone this surgery today by having a single level anterior fusion, the Colts said in a statement. The surgery was uneventful.

Rehabilitation from such surgery is typically an involved process. Therefore, there will be no estimation of a return date at this time.

Manning will remain on the Colts' active roster until the team has a clearer picture of his recovery process.

Earlier on Thursday, Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted that Manning was likely to be out awhile.

Irsay posted: We had a good practice yesterday and r guys r fired up 4 the season. (hash)18's out for awhile, but compete, we will/BELIEVE.

Manning was on the sidelines throughout most of the pre-season after undergoing neck surgery in May and only recently was taken off the physically unable to perform list which allowed for some limited practice.

However, on Monday the team listed him as doubtful for Sunday's game, saying the recovery from his neck operation had slowed and that he must stop practice.

To say I am disappointed in not being able to play is an understatement, Manning said in a statement. I simply am not healthy enough to play, and I am doing everything I can to get my health back.

Manning's absence on Sunday ends a run of 227 consecutive NFL games which is the second longest streak for a quarterback, behind the now-retired Brett Favre (297).

In his place, 16-year veteran Kerry Collins will be the starting quarterback.