Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher line up on defense against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 17, 2006 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Brian Urlacher’s injured left knee has kept him from practicing and from playing in a pre-season game, but he says, it won’t keep him from playing in September's season opener.
"September 9th I'll be ready to play, I'm pretty sure, that's all that matters to me" Urlacher said Sunday.
Urlacher sprained the medial collateral ligament and partially sprained the posterior collateral ligament in his left knee in last year's season finale January 1st. His doctor’s didn’t operate but instead prescribed he rest the knee during the off season.
Urlacher was expected to play when he reported to training camp this summer, but after three practices the injured knee became painfully swollen. The pro-bowl linebacker hasn’t hit the field since July 31st – almost three weeks – and missed Thursday’s pre-season opener.
"I've been off 9-10 days now, it feels better, I'm not running around on it" he said, "it's not gonna swell up as bad."
Urlacher wouldn't say if he had any further MRI's or tests done on the knee during his 10 day absence, four days of which he was excused for "personal reasons.”
"It was a personal reason, just like Coach Smith said," said a smiling Urlacher, "our Doctors are the best, I trust what they say & our trainers, I just do what I'm told to do."
For now that means more rest, he will also have to deal with the pain and swelling by wearing a brace and limiting his field practice.
"I still ran pretty fast & moved around pretty good," Urlacher said of wearing the brace in practice, "I'd love to be out there but I'm not going to put myself in jeopardy of missing the first game."
Urlacher didn’t provide further answers as to why his knee is acting up or for how long the Bears can count on him this season.