ORLANDO, Fla. -- Cam Newton's ankle surgery came as one of the biggest surprises in a downbeat offseason for the Carolina Panthers. But his ankle issues were not a shock to the team.
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Speaking to reporters Monday at the NFL Annual Meeting in Orlando, coach Ron Rivera indicated that Newton has had lingering left ankle pain in the last few offseasons. Rivera believes the issue "probably" dates back to his time at Auburn.
"Every year it's been the same thing for the last couple years," Rivera said via Joseph Person of The Charlotte Observer. "This time when he started, after the rest and everything, it wasn't getting as well as fast as it had last time."
Newton told team doctors about the pain, and then they recommended surgery. Newton hurt this ankle in Week 14 in New Orleans, and then re-injured it in the team's playoff loss against San Francisco.
He's expected to miss four months, which means he has a good chance of being ready for training camp.
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