Jonathan Stewart injury: Panthers uncertain of running back's return date


Jonathan Stewart may be unavailable for the beginning of training camp after undergoing offseason surgery on both ankles.

Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart missed all of OTAs and minicamp following offseason surgery on both ankles, but the team isn't ready to say whether he'll be available in time for training camp in late July. On Thursday, Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman spoke to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, but wouldn't reveal much about Stewart's recovery:

Gettleman would not speculate on whether Stewart would be ready for the start of training camp, saying: "We'll see. Time will tell."

Stewart, 26, played in nine games and started in just six as he struggled with ankle problems throughout the season before undergoing the surgeries in January. He finished the season with franchise-lows in every major rushing category and tallied just 3.6 yards per carry after averaging over 4.3 in each of the four seasons prior.

A first-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, Stewart accumulated 10 rushing touchdowns in each of his first two seasons but has struggled to match the production since. He signed a six-year, $38.27-million contract before the beginning of the 2012 season.

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