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NFL Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera returns to training

After the death of his brother, Ron Rivera has returned to Carolina Panthers training as they continue preparations for the 2015 NFL season.

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Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera returns to training play

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera returns to training

(Omni Sports)

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera has returned to training, after a two-day hiatus to attend his brother's funeral.

Mickey Rivera died on Tuesday aged 56 following a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer, and the Panthers coach missed multiple sessions as he attended the funeral in Reno, Nevada.

But on Monday, Rivera was back in full coach mode in Spartanburg, South Carolina, with the coach sparing his players in stifling conditions - where the mercury reached 34 degrees Celsius.

"I was a little concerned at the end of practice, we cut a couple of things out just because it got warm," Rivera told a news conference.

"And it's tough, this is their fourth practice in a row, there's some tough things going on out there.

"It was a little bit longer today, so we had to cut a couple of things just to be careful.

"RB [offensive line assistant Ray Brown] came up to me and told me the heat index was up to 109, so we took a couple of extra water breaks, and extended one to five minutes just to be safe with the guys."

Rivera also confirmed defensive tackle Star Lotulelei left practice with right-foot soreness, an area he has battled injury before - while cornerback Bene Benwikere also sat out the session, but veteran Chris Houston was in action.

The Panthers open their 2015 campaign on September 13 at the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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