Chicago Sun-Times

Tillman: "I'll be fine for the season"

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Charles Tillman declared himself fine for the regular season today on the team's Web site, but the Bears said he will be "sidelined indefinitely'' following back surgery two weeks ago.

The club revealed that Tillman's surgery, performed by Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles, removed a piece of disc fragment from his lower back. He was informed at the time that it would be six to 12 weeks for him to return, meaning he's now at four to 10 weeks to getting back on the field.

"I'll be fine for the season," Tillman said. "There's no need to panic. When I panic, then you can panic. But I'm not panicking, so we're good.

"[Things] happen. I'm just glad it happened now versus in the season. But I'm all right. I'm always optimistic.''

Tillman was optimistic at the end of the offseason program about returning from shoulder surgery that took place Jan. 14. He also missed time in June with a hyperextended knee.

The Bears are counting on him to return but have increased questions in their secondary now two days before players report to camp. Tillman will be placed on the physically unable to perform list on Friday.

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u better b fine 4 the season...!!!!!jees every training camp....why didnt they tells us that months ago when they probably found out!!!

He may be healthy, but will he be ready to play at his normal, aggressive level? That is why I think we need to keep him on the PUP list, and let him build his way back up. Back surgery is never a good thing to rush back from (no pun intended). He won't be able to lift, run, or do a lot of the things he normally would do to train while he is recovering, so why not give him a chance to recover fully, and come back for the last 8-9 games and be fresh, healthy, and ready to go?

Let's see what we have in Moore, Bowman, McBride, and Graham at the corner spot opposite Vasher, and let Tillman get better. If they can't cut it, you let Tillman rush back. If they can, you let him heal, and you have a stronger rotation when he does get back. The issue I see with letting him start the season is that if he tweaks anything early in the year, he will be just like last year, working with one arm, or one leg, or having no ability to drive on the ball because his back is not able to support him. Better he ends up on IR than see another season of him gutting it out and getting burned all game long, week after week.

Playing hurt is admirable, and last year, we really did not have any other options, but if we have a healthy Vasher, Graham, Bowman, Moore, and McBride, we don't need a 70% Tillman. If they play well enough, we either have ammo to get some draft picks next year, or we have a strong enough position group to focus on where we really need the help: free safety....

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on July 28, 2009 3:12 PM.

With Tillman on the shelf, will the Bears seek a veteran corner? was the previous entry in this blog.

Bear hunter done: Favre tells Vikings he will stay retired is the next entry in this blog.

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