MX23RW : Friday, September 21 12:20:15

Jonathan Stewart nearing return with Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart is nearing his return to practice after recovering from an ankle injury.

Jonathan Stewart has increased his workload as he nears his return to action with the Carolina Panthers.

The running back, who injured his ankle in pre-season, started the campaign on the physically unable to perform list, ruling him out of the first six games of the campaign.

Head coach Ron Rivera told the team's official website: "They kind of mimicked what he would go through in a game and they really put him under a lot of stress.

"They had him cutting, breaking and turning. They had him pulling the sled. They put him through the paces of what he could expect going forward.

"How he feels in the morning is about as serious as it gets for us. If things are A-OK then we can get that clock started and get him ready to play."

The team is targeting a week nine return against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Stewart.

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Head coach Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers watches on against the Seattle Seahawks during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 8, 2013
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