by: Phil Orban Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Doctors are treating Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton after he was seriously hurt Tuesday in an uptown Charlotte crash.
Newton suffered fractures in his back after his truck flipped on Church Street.
Doctors said Tuesday night it would be very surprising if Newton was able to play Sunday.
The discussion from friends and teammates was consistent -- it's not about football, it's about making sure Newton is healthy.
“Whenever he gets back he gets back. Right now the most important thing is for him to just get well,” said tight end Greg Olsen.
“If it was just his back, that's a good thing considering what could have happened,” said Derek Anderson, backup quarterback on the team.
The aftermath of the mid-afternoon wreck that sent Newton to the hospital shook up a normally relaxing day off for the team.
“I've reached out to him and let him know we're all thinking about him,” Olsen said.
An orthopedic surgeon with 17 years of NFL sideline experience said while he hasn't treated Newton or seen the specific injury, he is familiar with a transverse process fracture.
He said it's a very painful injury because there are a lot of muscle attachments on that part of the spine but the long-term prognosis is very good and he should make an excellent recovery.
Other quarterbacks who have dealt with the same injury, like the Dallas Cowboy's Tony Romo, returned to action two weeks after the injury.
In all likelihood the fracture won't even be healed by the time Newton returns to the field, according to the surgeon. It's a bone chip that doesn't need to heal. It will just be very painful
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