Stewart frustrated but optimistic after injury

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Running back Jonathan Stewart was beginning to feel like he had finally overcome his injury issues as he worked out in California to condition himself for training camp.

Then, during a sprint toward the end of his workout regimen, Stewart pulled his hamstring.

"It's very frustrating, because I had a good OTAs and minicamp," Stewart said. "I had a good offseason, period, up until two weeks ago when I pulled my hammy. It's definitely frustrating but it's something that I'm really not too concerned about, considering my history with my ankles."

Stewart had surgery on both ankles prior to the start of the 2013 season, forcing him to miss the first seven games while on the physically unable to perform list. After returning to action for six games, he suffered a partially torn right medial collateral ligament and didn't play again in 2013.

The hamstring injury is his latest issue, but it's minor, and Stewart is excited about entering the 2014 season with healed ankles.

"The fresher you are the better. Going into this year I am going to be the freshest I've been in two years," Stewart said. "Battling injuries is just something that I've had to go through. It's made me who I am now. I love the fact that I can get up in the morning without soreness in my ankles. That makes you look at things differently a little bit."

Instead of feeling sorry for himself or feeling unlucky, Stewart aims to make the most of the hand he's been dealt.

"I don't really believe in luck," Stewart said. "You are given a hand of cards. It's up to you to make the next best move."

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