Star quarterback Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers will undergo surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff next Thursday, but expects to be ready for the start of training camp, the team announced.
Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson (back) and wide receiver Damiere Byrd (knee) also will undergo surgery. Johnson and Byrd also are expected to be back in time for camp.
As a result, none of the three will participate in the Panthers' organized training sessions.
"It is well-documented and well-researched that overhead throwing athletes commonly have wear and tear to their rotator cuffs," Carolina head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion told Panthers.com.
"As a result of the MRI, we modified all of Cam's work in the weight room and on the field for the final three weeks of the season."
Newton's injury occurred in the Panthers' Week 14 game against the San Diego (now Los Angeles) Chargers. He played in each of the team's remaining three games and underwent offseason MRI exams to monitor his progress.
"We developed a plan for Cam to take a period of rest, a period of rehabilitation and treatment, and then start a gradual throwing program the first part of March," Vermillion said.
"Cam started his program, and the early parts of his rehab had been going well. However, as we worked to advance him into the next stage -- the strengthening stage, the throwing stage -- he started to have an increase in his pain level and started having pain while throwing.
"As a result, Dr. Pat Connor (head team physician) felt the most prudent procedure would be to arthroscopically repair the shoulder."
Vermillion said Newton will begin an early throwing program 12 weeks following the surgery. Should he progress well from there, Newton will resume throwing with the team at 16 weeks.
Newton, 27, passed for 3,509 yards with 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last season for Carolina (6-10), which missed the playoffs after finishing last in the AFC South.
Johnson underwent surgery on Tuesday at Carolinas Medical Center after alerting the Panthers of recent back pain. Vermillion said Johnson received an epidural injection, but did not progress well.
After the surgery, Johnson is expected to up and moving on Wednesday.
Byrd, 24, sustained the knee injury while working out on his own, and an MRI exam revealed torn lateral meniscus in his left knee. Dr. Connor will perform a scope on his knee at the Carolinas Medical Center on Thursday.