Bears coach John Fox said the former Oregon State star had the surgery Sunday morning after he complained of stomach pains Saturday night. Fox said the good news for Wheaton was his appendix did not rupture, which would have resulted in a more complicated surgery and longer recovery period.
“He had some stomach pains (Saturday) night around 4 a.m., and our training staff did a good job getting him and he had the appendectomy at probably 9 o’clock (Sunday) morning,” Fox told reporters Sunday. “They’ll keep him in the hospital tonight. It’s a scope type of procedure, but they caught it. … It was inflamed, not ruptured, which is a good thing. So he’ll start that recovery process.”
Fox didn’t give a timetable for Wheaton’s recovery and return to training, but he could miss the Bears preseason opener on August 10. Wheaton will need time to rehab and learn the offense after he was limited during organized team activities in the spring as he worked back from shoulder surgery in December.
The surgery represents another physical setback for Wheaton, who signed a two-year, $11 million free agent contract in March after spending his first four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Wheaton is trying to resurrect his career after missing 13 games with a shoulder injury during the 2016 season. He finished the season with just four receptions for 51 yards and touchdown in 2016.
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