Thomas Davis on the comeback trail

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- We gave you an update Tuesday on one Carolina linebacker (Jon Beason) who’s coming back from an injury. Now, it’s time for another.

This time, we’re talking about Thomas Davis. As difficult as Beason’s recovery from a torn Achilles tendon might have been, Davis’ situation is even more challenging. He is attempting to return from his third torn ACL and he’s getting close.

As the Carolina Panthers go through their minicamp this week, Davis has been going through the walkthrough portions of the practices, but continues to be held out of team drills. Beason had been on that same schedule throughout the offseason, but the Panthers turned him loose Tuesday.

“I’m seeing Beas out there and getting excited for him,’’ Davis said after Wednesday afternoon’s session. “That’s motivation for me.’’

Davis isn’t far behind Beason. He said he’ll be ready to go at full speed when training camp opens in late July.

“I’ll be fine,’’ Davis said. “I’ll be ready to go. I’m pretty much there right now. We’re just taking precautions.’’

Before the injuries started, Davis was a rising star as an outside linebacker. It remains to be seen if he can get back to that level, but that’s his goal. His exact role remains up in the air. The Panthers used their first-round draft pick on linebacker Luke Kuechly.

Beason has played in the middle most of his career. Kuechly played inside in college. The Panthers haven’t made any definite decisions, but Beason and Kuechly also can play outside.

It’s pretty safe to assume Beason and Kuechly will be in the starting lineup on opening day. One will be in the middle and one will move outside. That means Davis likely will compete with veteran James Anderson for the other starting job.