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Jonathan Stewart to miss Carolina Panthers' first six games of the season

Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart will miss the opening six games of the 2013 NFL season with an ankle injury.

Jonathan Stewart has said that he is focusing on returning to the field in week seven of the regular season.

The Carolina Panthers running back has been placed on the team's 'physically unable to perform' list after picking up an ankle injury.

The 26-year-old told the NFC South side's website: "I can spend all my energy preparing myself for [week seven]. That's the timeframe that I have to be back. I just have to heal up. I'm just taking it day by day like I've been, being there for my teammates. Just bringing as much positive energy as I can."

Head coach Ron Rivera added: "Right now, the best move is to put him on PUP. When he's ready, following the rules, we'll get him out here and ready to go. Until then, he'll continue to rehab. He's made some big strides, some real good things have happened, it's just not going to happen soon enough."

Meanwhile, rookie offensive lineman Edmund Kugbila has been placed on injured reserve with a knee and hamstring complaint.

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Edmund Kugbila of the Carolina Panthers walks toward the team's practice facility during the Panthers Rookie Camp on May 11, 2013
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