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Four Bears recovering from offseason surgeries


INDIANAPOLIS – The Bears expect all four of their players who underwent offseason surgeries to be ready to return to action by the start of training camp, if not sooner.

The quartet includes quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, inside linebacker Roquan Smith, tight end Trey Burton and receiver Anthony Miller.

Trubisky had a procedure on his left (non-throwing) shoulder to repair an injury he played with most of last season after hurting it in a Week 4 win over the Vikings.

"Our expectation is as we get ramped up in the OTAs and minicamps, he'll be good to go," general manager Ryan Pace said this week at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

Pace added that he expects that Trubisky, Smith, Burton and Miller all will be able to practice without limitations when the Bears begin training camp at the end of July. 

Smith had surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle that forced him to miss the final three games of the season. At the time he sustained the injury Dec.5 in a Thursday night win over the Cowboys, the eighth overall pick in the 2018 draft led the Bears with 100 tackles.

Smith had been playing his best football of the season before getting hurt, recording at least 10 tackles in four of five games, including a career-high 16 stops in a Thanksgiving win in Detroit. He also compiled two sacks and two tackles-for-loss against the Lions, becoming only the third player in NFL history with at least 15 tackles and two sacks in a game.

"This is a fully recoverable thing for Roquan," Pace said. "When he was healthy last year and playing right, you saw the player that we drafted and why we took him so high. Our outlook on him is very optimistic."

Burton underwent a procedure on his hip to fix an injury that affected him throughout last season. He was placed on injured reserve Nov. 16 after playing in eight games, catching 14 passes for 84 yards. In his first year with the Bears in 2018, Burton set career highs in all receiving categories with 54 receptions, 569 yards and six touchdowns.

Asked about Burton's recovery, Pace said: "It's been positive. Our hope is that we finally kind of solved the issue and that there's an upward trajectory now with him. That's our hope. We'll see when the players get back in April [for the start of the offseason program]."

Miller is recovering from surgery on his left shoulder for the second straight offseason. He sustained the injury returning a kickoff in the Bears' season finale in Minnesota.

Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, meanwhile, did not have to undergo surgery on the elbow injury that forced him to miss 10 of the final 11 games last season.

"He's in a good spot," Pace said. "We're happy with where he's at. We don't have any concerns there."