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.