Newton’s ankle had been bothering him for years

AP

So how was quarterback Cam Newton able to play in the Pro Bowl with an ankle that required surgery and a four-month recovery?

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Newton’s ankle wasn’t bothering him badly enough to prevent him from playing in the regular season, the postseason, or the Pro Bowl.  He was medically cleared to play in Hawaii, and he was able to play normally.

The ankle, we’re told, nevertheless has been bothering him for several years, dating back to college.  If the season were occurring now, he’d continue to play through it.

The decision was made to operate for the purposes of tightening loose ligaments after Newton rested for 4-6 weeks after the season ended.  After he started working out in preparation for the coming season, the ankle was still bothering him.  The decision was made to conduct the surgery.

So was the surgery a success?  We asked Panthers spokesman Steve Drummond, who provided one of the better answers we’ve ever heard.

“I’m not going to call it a successful surgery,” Drummond said with a laugh, “because that’s what everybody says.”