Panthers want Foster back

Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said he'd like to re-sign running back DeShaun Foster this offseason if at all possible. "Sure he's a guy we'd like to have back. But as far (as contracts talks go) we're not talking to anybody until after the season," Hurney said.

Foster, who ran for 372 yards in his final three games prior to breaking his fibula on Sunday against Chicago (he's out for the season), is due to become an unrestricted free agent and could command big money in the offseason.

Foster will have surgery on the ankle, but Hurney said it's only about a two-month injury. Nick Goings will start at running back for the Panthers in the NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks.

"It's an injury that we feel better about with surgery," coach John Fox said.

The fibula is the smaller of the two bones in the lower leg.

Fox doesn't consider Foster's injury something that will keep him out long term and Hurney said it would be roughly two months before he's able to begin working out again.

"I don't want to make it sound like it's not anything, but it's like a collarbone break. You put the bone back together and it heals," Fox said.

Foster will be ready to play for the Panthers next season if he re-signs with the team.

Fox said the team plans to place Foster on injured reserve and will call up another player at some point this week.

It will mark the third time in four-year NFL career Foster has finished the season on injured reserve. He missed all of his rookie season with a knee injury and then spent 12 games last year on IR with a broken clavicle.

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