Star Lotulelei coming off shoulder surgery

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Cam Newton’s not the only important Panthers player coming off shoulder surgery.

But the one Star Lotulelei had doesn’t appear to have been as complicated.

According to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, the Panthers defensive tackle is recovering from a procedure to “clean up” his shoulder.

He took part in individual drills during minicamp but was held out of team portions. He’s expected to be ready for the start of training camp.

The former first-round pick is entering an important year financially, after the Panthers picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie deal. With Kawann Short signed to a long-term deal earlier this year, the Panthers will have to decide whether to use the franchise tag again up front to keep their defensive foundation strong. But they used last year’s first-round pick on defensive tackle Vernon Butler, which cuts into Lotulelei’s leverage a bit.