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It turns out Cam Newton has been playing on a bad ankle his entire NFL career

The news that Cam Newton needed surgery on his left ankle, a procedure that will keep him out four months, came out of the blue for most of us.

It probably wasn't such a shock for Newton, considering he has dealt with a bum ankle for more than three years.

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Newton's ankle problem "probably" goes back to 2010 and his season at Auburn, according to the Charlotte Observer.

So what that means is, Newton finished off a Heisman Trophy campaign, won a national title, won NFL offensive rookie of the year, has had statistically the best three-year start for a quarterback in NFL history including 2,032 rushing yards and 28 rushing touchdowns ... all on a bad ankle that needed surgery.

Maybe there's something behind this whole Superman alter ego.

Newton, who hasn't missed an NFL game, was working out at Auburn where he has been taking classes, and experienced continuing pain in his left ankle. He re-injured it in Week 15 last year against New Orleans and again in a playoff loss to San Francisco. The Charlotte Observer said he has worked through similar pain in previous offseasons, but it wasn't dissipating this year so he underwent surgery on March 19 to tighten the ligaments.

The timing of the surgery was curious, so long after the season, but the Observer also said that Newton figured the pain would dissipate and he would play through it, as always. It wasn't getting any better this time so he had surgery. 

The surgery should get Newton back to 100 percent before training camp starts, and apparently we haven't seen a 100 percent Newton yet in his NFL career. He has been darn good at whatever percent he has been playing at.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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