BOURBONNAIS — Receiver Markus Wheaton first felt stomach pain at 4 a.m. Sunday. About five hours later, after being examined by Bears trainers and being sent to the hospital, he went into surgery.
Coach John Fox said Wheaton had an appendectomy and planned to spend the night in the hospital.
But there was some good news for the Bears, who have had two players have surgery in three days: Wheaton’s appendix didn’t rupture, making the surgery simpler and his return time quicker.
Still, it figures Wheaton won’t be available for the Bears’ first preseason game Aug. 10. Fox wouldn’t give a timeline for his return, but he said Wheaton will ‘‘start that recovery process’’ when he returns to Olivet Nazarene University.
The Bears signed Wheaton away from the Steelers during the offseason, giving him a two-year, $11 million contract.
Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee had arthroscopic surgery Friday on his right knee.
‘‘This game of football that we play is tough — it’s very tough,’’ outside linebacker Willie Young said. ‘‘But once again, you’ve got to soldier down. The rest of the troops have to pick it up.’’
The Bears, who had only eight interceptions last season, had four in practice. The highlight was cornerback Kyle Fuller’s diving pick of a pass by Mark Sanchez along the right sideline.
Last week, general manager Ryan Pace said Fuller — who missed all last season after a seemingly simple arthroscopic knee surgery — was solid during organized team activities and had a ‘‘really good’’ offseason program.
‘‘For him, it was stringing together healthy practices,’’ Pace said.
Second-year cornerback DeAndre Houston-Carson picked off Sanchez a play before Fuller did.
‘‘I’ve always been a believer that you get what you emphasize,’’ Fox said. ‘‘And we’ve emphasized it quite a bit as a staff through the whole offseason, really since last season was over. You gotta walk before you run, so this is a good place to start, practicing it and seeing what the results are.’’
This and that
Running back Jeremy Langford, who has a walking boot on his sprained right ankle, remained out. Running back Benny Cunningham wore an orange no-contact jersey after experiencing a tight neck.
• Guard Kyle Long returned to practice but was limited while he recovers from surgery on his right ankle. Guard Eric Kush didn’t finish practice because of hamstring tightness, and center/guard Taylor Boggs left in the middle of practice with a possible concussion.
• Center Hroniss Grasu took some snaps at guard. Fox said players have to have a swing position, and Grasu’s is guard.
• Outside linebacker Dan Skuta (hip) remained out.
Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley.