As a result, the 25-year-old Conte will miss offseason workouts and likely won't be ready to participate until the later stages of training camp or the preseason.
Conte explained his decision to have the surgery, per Mayer:
"I know I'm going to have to compete for my position on this team. I am prepared to do that and felt having this surgery was the best way to be 100 percent healthy and be the best player I can possibly be."
Conte, who was selected by Chicago in the third round of the 2011 NFL draft, has played in 45 regular-season games for the Bears over the past three seasons, starting 40 of those games, including every game in 2013.
Without having a full offseason to continue his development and improve his areas of weakness, Conte's starting job could be in jeopardy, as alluded to by CBS Chicago senior Bears writer Adam Hoge on Twitter:
Chris Conte missing 4-5 months means late-July to late-August. Huge difference when you are competing for a job. #Bears— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) April 3, 2014
As Mayer points out, the Bears have addressed some of their needs on the back end by signing four safeties since free agency began in mid-March. Still, Conte has developed into a key contributor on defense over the years and is coming off a career year in which he recorded 73 total tackles, seven passes defended and three interceptions.
Fortunately, Conte should be healthy and ready to play in time for the start of the regular season.