Purpose. To determine whether transplantation of Schwann cells (SCs) overexpressing different isoforms of fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) combined with manual stimulation (MS) of vibrissal muscles improves recovery after facial nerve transection in adult rat. Procedures. Transected facial nerves were entubulated with collagen alone or collagen plus naïve SCs or transfected SCs. Half of the rats received daily MS. Collateral branching was quantified from motoneuron counts after retrograde labeling from 3 facial nerve branches. Quality assessment of endplate reinnervation was combined with video-based vibrissal function analysis. Results. There was no difference in the extent of collateral axonal branching. The proportion of polyinnervated motor endplates for either naïve SCs or FGF-2 over-expressing SCs was identical. Postoperative MS also failed to improve recovery. Conclusions. Neither FGF-2 isoform changed the extent of collateral branching or polyinnervation of motor endplates; furthermore, this motoneuron response could not be overridden by MS.