CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Cam Newton will undergo surgery Wednesday on his left ankle and will be sidelined for four months, the Carolina Panthers announced.
The team said Tuesday the Pro Bowl quarterback has experienced soreness in the ankle since the end of last season and the problem simply wasn’t getting better.
“The ankle was sore after the San Francisco game and we wanted to see if rest would calm it down, but it is still bothering him and the decision was made to address it,” Panthers trainer Ryan Anderson said in a press release.
The Panthers lost to the 49ers on Jan. 12 in the NFC divisional playoffs. The surgery will be performed by Panthers team physician Robert Anderson at Carolinas Medical Center. If all goes as expected, Newton could return before training begins at the end of July.
Newton led the Panthers to a 12-4 record last season and the NFC South championship. He was also selected to the Pro Bowl.
The news is particularly concerning for the Panthers since Newton is expected to be working with almost an entirely new group of wide receivers this season.
The Panthers released Steve Smith, the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions in a salary cap related move last week. Brandon LaFell, the team’s other starter last season, signed with New England in free agency while top reserves Ted Ginn Jr. and Domenik Hixon signed free agent deals with Arizona and Chicago respectively.
Super Bowl hero
returns to New York
Mario Manningham, one of the Giants’ most productive receivers from 2008-2011, will rejoin the team.
Known for his spectacular 38-yard reception that began the team’s winning drive against New England in the 2012 Super Bowl, Manningham spent the last two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. Those two seasons with the 49ers were cut short by injury. In 2012, he played in 12 games before tearing his ACL and missing San Francisco’s postseason run to the Super Bowl. Last year, he began the season on the physically unable to perform list, returned to play in six games, but again ended up on injured reserve because of recurring issues with his knee.