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Kevin White to undergo leg surgery, could miss season

So much for Kevin White's optimism about a return to the field.

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace announced Saturday that White -- the seventh overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft -- has a stress fracture in his shin that will require surgery. White will begin the season on the team's PUP list and could miss his entire rookie season.

Pace said that White suffered a setback in his recovery this week, prompting the need for surgery. The team confirmed that White developed a stress fracture in his shin during OTAs. The hope was that rest and rehabilitation would solve the issue. The discomfort returned this week and coaches noticed a change in White's gait.

By remaining on the PUP list, White is guaranteed to miss at least the first six games of the regular season, though it appears the Bears anticipate a longer absence than that.

The news comes less than 24 hours after White said he was ready to return to practice.

"I feel I can play. But you've got to look at the coaches, trainers and if they say, 'Kevin, give it another week,' that's what I have to do," he said Friday. "Hopefully we'll get some good news and hopefully I'll be back out there very soon."

The Bears drafted White with the vision of the former West Virginia standout replacing Brandon Marshall as a top target for Jay Cutler across from star wideout Alshon Jeffery. With White out of the picture for the foreseeable future, veteran Eddie Royal will assume a much bigger role in the offense.

New Bears coach John Fox was expected to lean on the run more than his predecessor, Marc Trestman. That might be especially true now that the Bears have lost White, who was expected to make an instant impact as a rookie. This is an extremely tough break for a team in transition.

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