CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Carolina Panthers rookie Robert Daniel will miss the season after an examination revealed a fractured disc in his neck, the team said Thursday.
Surgery to fuse the two vertebrae between the disc will be performed next week after swelling goes down, the Panthers said.
Recovery is expected within three or four months for the sixth-round draft choice from Northwestern (La.) State. He should be able to play next season, according to the team.
The preliminary prognosis for Daniel had been a bruised spinal cord, but a test Wednesday night at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte revealed the fracture between the third and fourth cervical veterbrae.
Daniel was injured during a blocking sled drill at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C. Daniel’s head buckled when his helmet collided with the sled.
Rookies and selected veterans began working out Tuesday at Wofford. The rest of the veterans arrived Thursday and new coach George Seifert planned a late afternoon meeting with players. The first practice for the full roster will be Friday morning.