Jon Beason injury: Panthers LB expected to miss minicamp

Streeter Lecka

The linebacker made three straight Pro Bowls, but has struggled with injuries in the last two seasons.

Carolina Panthers linebacker Jon Beason has missed all but five games in the last two season and had three surgeries in a 17-month period, but the veteran has every intention to return to the field for the Panthers sooner rather than later, although that won't be during minicamp, according to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer.

Beason, 28, made three consecutive Pro Bowls at middle linebacker before his two injury-riddled seasons. Now, he's expected to return to the Panthers as an outside linebacker after suffering shoulder and knee injuries that sent him to injured reserve in October. Taking his place in the middle in 2012 was first-round draft pick Luke Kuechly, who went on the become the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

A first-round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, Beason played and started in all 64 games the Panthers played during the first four years of his career. After two seasons of injuries, Beason told Person that he's excited to get back to doing what he loves to do.

"For me, it can't get here any faster. Obviously, I want to take advantage of the time that I have to get stronger and to heal up even more," Beason said. "But I'm just so anxious to get back to doing what I love. I love to play the game of football. There's nothing else I'd rather do."

While he isn't expected to participate in minicamp next month, Beason did go through the walkthrough at the Panthers OTAs on Monday and should be ready for training camp.

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