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Jonathan Stewart status hinges on pre-camp physical

By Joseph Person
jperson@charlotteobserver.com

Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart will report to Spartanburg on Thursday with the rest of his teammates.

How he fares in his physical at Wofford will determine when or whether he joins them on the practice field during training camp.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he won't know Stewart's status until he undergoes an extensive physical Thursday.

“Thursday is when we'll get the definitive (answer),” Rivera said Tuesday. “Kind of hoping he's ready to go, or ready to go in a limited capacity, once we get there on Thursday.”

Stewart missed seven games in 2012 because of ankle issues, and underwent surgery on both ankles after the season. He did not participate in OTAs or minicamp.

Rivera is optimistic about linebacker Jon Beason, who was placed on injured reserve with shoulder and knee injuries last year after playing in four games. Beason was in a lot of drills during minicamp, and Rivera believes he'll be ready.

“With Beason, we're expecting everything to be clean on Thursday, as well,” he said.

Beason told the NFL Network this week he feels good physically.

“Everything is geared toward the first game of the season, so we're going to be smart during camp,” Beason said during an NFL Network appearance. “I think it's going to be my big, breakout year.”

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