Well, this isn't very good news.
The guys at Rotoworld, using this article from Joseph Person as their source, are speculating that Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart might have to miss time in training camp after recovering from ankle surgery in January.
Stewart hasn't participated much in the team's offseason program due to the ankle injury, but it was previously believed that he would be ready to go when the team holds training camp at Wofford College next month:
Stewart did some stretching with the team, before moving to the secondary field to ride the stationary bike. The 26-year-old isn't expected to participate much in OTAs or minicamp, but he should be ready to roll for training camp.
Now, according to ESPN's Pat Yasinskas, Stewart's situation is still up in the air:
Coach Ron Rivera was vague on this topic, but I get the sense that there’s a good chance running back Jonathan Stewart, who is recovering from surgery on both ankles, might not be ready to go at the start of training camp.
Rivera's not the only one being vague about it. Panthers GM Dave Gettleman is taking the wait and see approach:
"We'll see. Time will tell."
He's right -- time will tell, but I will be surprised if Stewart gets a lot of action in training camp if for no other reason than to prevent anything else from going wrong in his recovery efforts. We know what Stewart can bring to the table when healthy and he's not trying to win a roster spot, so putting his ankle at risk by overworking him in training camp probably isn't a good idea.
Honestly, it really shouldn't be a surprise that Stewart is struggling with an ankle injury since he's been dealing with them since he was drafted by Carolina in 2008. While he's only missed nine games in four seasons -- with seven of those nine coming in 2012 -- he's always battling ankle and foot issues, and the fact that he's still dealing with those issues this far into his career should be a cause for moderate concern.
We'll keep you updated on Stewart's condition and his availability during training camp as soon as new information comes available, so stay tuned.