Carolina Panthers guard Edmund Kugbila will have spinal surgery Friday in New York, the latest in a string of health issues for the second-year player.
Kugbila, the Panthers’ fourth-round pick from Division II Valdosta State in 2013, said the surgery is to repair cracks in his spinal cord. He said he’s not sure if it’s a chronic condition or developed recently.
Despite the sensitive nature of spinal surgery and a history of injuries since he entered the NFL, Kugbila said he has given no thought to retiring.
“Not really,” he said Sunday. “I love the game too much. I’m not really focused on that.”
Kugbila, on injured reserve for the second consecutive year, has yet to play in an NFL exhibition or regular-season game.
Friday’s surgery, which will be performed by spinal specialist Paul McCormick, will be Kugbila’s fourth since the spring of 2013. He had arthroscopic surgery in May to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
After being sidelined with a strained hamstring early in training camp last year, he re-injured his knee in August and had reconstructive surgery in September on the posterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments.
When the knee began swelling during rehab, Kugbila had minor, clean-out surgery.
Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said recently Kugbila has worked hard in his various rehabs, but has been a victim of bad luck.
“It’s all right,” Kugbila said. “God’s got me.”
Boston pulled his groin in his first practice of camp on Tuesday and has not been able to go since. Rivera said Boston is still “really sore” but added he will not need surgery.
Boston had surgery for a sports hernia shortly after the team drafted him.
Greg Hardy (shoulder) and Charles Johnson (hamstring) didn’t practice, but Rivera expects them back on the field Tuesday. Running back Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) will be evaluated Tuesday.
Receiver Tavarres King had sore legs and sat out.
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