Pat Mannelly wants to continue as the Chicago Bears' long snapper, but he needs his body's permission.

After hip surgery this offseason and surgery in 2011 to reconstruct the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, he’s letting his body instead of his mind determine whether he’ll play a club-record 17th season.

And as Mannelly, 39, looked ahead Tuesday to the next stage of his hip rehabilitation, he seemed cautiously optimistic he’ll be able to re-sign with the Bears later this spring.

“I really want to listen to my body and see what happens,” he said. “You always want to play forever. Your mind says you can play forever. Your heart says you can play forever, but we’ll see.”

The Bears on Tuesday honored Mannelly for being their 2013 Ed Block Courage Award recipient. Winners, who are voted upon by teammates, demonstrate dedication, strength and courage in the face of adversity.

It seemed a fitting honor for Mannelly, who now finds himself at a life crossroads partly because of the toll levied by the injuries he distinguished himself by fighting through.

“There’s two things, I think: You play for the love of the game, and you play for your teammates,” Mannelly said. “And when your teammates can honor you like this and know that the last two years for me have been a little more difficult than the other ones — overcoming an ACL and the hip issue I’ve had — so for them to give me this award means a whole lot.”