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Bears WR White to undergo shin surgery

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Chicago Bears wide receiver Kevin White, the seventh overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, needs to undergo surgery on a stress fracture in his left shin.

General manager Ryan Pace said Saturday that White will start the season on the physically unable to perform list and could miss the entire season.

“He’s emotional,” Pace said of White. “I know he sincerely cares about this organization, about his teammates, about Coach (John) Fox. It’s from the bottom of his heart, and that’s why, to me — and I know, this is kind of a weird time to say this — but man, I’m telling you, that guy, it’s confirmed to me the type of person he is, through this process.”

White suffered the injury during the Bears’ offseason program and missed training camp practices as well as the Bears’ preseason opener.

Pace said White suffered a setback in his recovery this week, prompting the need for surgery. White had been limited to pool and elliptical work until Monday, when the team allowed him to lightly run on a side field during practice.

“We were being very cautious,” Pace said. “This guy’s a big commodity for us. To me, it was kind of black and white. If he’s having no pain, let’s go, let’s build him up slowly. Any type of setback, let’s do the right thing, here. To me, hey, it’s unfortunate, but there’s clarity in this is the surgery that he needs to have. It’ll be successful.”

By remaining on the PUP list, White will be sidelined for at least the first six games of the regular season.

The Bears drafted the former West Virginia standout to replace the departed Brandon Marshall as a top target for quarterback Jay Cutler across from wideout Alshon Jeffery.

Pace said Saturday that he expects Jeffery to play in the Week 1 opener against the Green Bay Packers. Jeffery on Wednesday suffered a mild calf strain, which will sideline him for roughly one week, a league source told ESPN.

On Friday, White was optimistic that he was ready to return to practice.

“I feel I can play. But you’ve got to look at the coaches, trainers and if they say, ‘Kevin, give it another week,’ that’s what I have to do,” White said Friday. “Hopefully we’ll get some good news and hopefully I’ll be back out there very soon.”


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