First-round pick has back surgery

First-round pick has back surgery

Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 19:31
So much for first-round draft choice Chris Williams winning the starting left tackle job in time for the season opener. Williams underwent surgery for a herniated disc in his lower back early Thursday morning and will be out indefinitely. Bears spokesman Scott Hagel said the team plans to keep Williams on the final 53-man roster but had no timetable for his return. The injury occurred early on the second day of practice, July 24, and was initially treated as back spasms. After the muscle injury subsided and Williams still showed no improvement, further tests revealed the herniated disc. T he Bears compared Williams' injury to one that cornerback Charles Tillman suffered at the end of the 2006 season. He missed the final two games of the regular season but participated in all three postseason games. Even if the 6-foot-6, 312-pound Williams returns in two weeks, which is the best-case scenario, he'll have missed all but the first 2 ½ hours of training-camp practice plus the first three preseason games and would be unlikely to play in the preseason finale. The Bears' plan was for Williams to move into the left tackle spot during the preseason and be an opening-day starter on Sept. 7 at Indianapolis. Now it appears veteran backup John St. Clair will be the Bears' left tackle, with journeyman Terrence Metcalf at guard, although he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday and did not play in Thursday night's preseason opener.
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