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Cam Newton recovering after shoulder surgery

The process of recovery begins now for Cam Newton.

The Panthers announced that their star quarterback is on the mend after undergoing surgery on his throwing shoulder in Charlotte on Thursday.

"Head team physician Dr. Pat Connor performed surgery this morning at Carolinas Medical Center to repair Cam Newton's partially torn rotator cuff," Panthers head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion told the team's official website. "Dr. Connor was pleased with the results of the surgery and Cam is at home resting. He will begin his rehab program Monday."

Per the website, Vermillion "previously laid out (a) detailed (rehab) plan" for Newton, who is expected to return to the field in time for training camp.

The Panthers announced last week that Newton would require an operation on the shoulder after maintaining all offseason that he could go without a procedure on his partially torn rotator cuff.

"I think what happened is the doctor is looking at the MRI and their decision (was) to see if it would heal on its own," Panthers coach Ron Rivera told NFL Network's Judy Battista at the Annual League Meeting. "You don't really want to go in on a quarterback and do the surgery, at least that's I think what the understanding was. He had been having such a good offseason, and then it just kind of plateaued I guess."

Newton's play fell off a cliff last season, especially down the stretch. The subject of countless huge hits, Cam operated nowhere near his MVP level of 2015.

"He's gonna have to rebuild his confidence. I mean, he was shook. Let's be honest. I'm not going to lie about that," Rivera said on Wednesday in Phoenix. "The young man went through a tough time and we went through a tough time. Why? Because of the injuries that we suffered on the offensive line. That was probably was the biggest thing. It just kind of shows you ... more of the importance of being able to protect your quarterback."

Protecting Newton is the first order of business in Carolina, but dark concerns linger: Even if he's healthy, losing an entire offseason with his band of receivers won't help a passer who was comprehensively out of sync last autumn.

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