Inside the Panthers

Panthers LB Luke Kuechly ready for next step in recovery from shoulder surgery

Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, watches on from the sidelines during the game between the Phoenix Suns and Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 1.
Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, watches on from the sidelines during the game between the Phoenix Suns and Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 1. Getty Images

Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly is expected to take another step in his recovery from shoulder surgery when he gets the sling off his left arm this week.

Kuechly had surgery last month to repair a torn labrum, an injury he played with throughout the Panthers’ postseason run.

“He’s progressing very nicely,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Monday at the NFL annual meetings. “I think (the sling) is coming off this week. I know when you walk by (the training room), you see him doing the exercises. It’s kind of a neat deal.”

Kuechly, the three-time Pro Bowler, missed three games early last season with a concussion and injured his shoulder in a Week 17 win against Tampa Bay. It didn’t stop him from becoming the first player in NFL history to return interceptions for touchdowns in consecutive playoff games against Seattle and Arizona.

Kuechly is expected to be ready for training camp in July and could participate in non-contact drills during OTAs and minicamp, Rivera said.

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