Bears still expecting Brian Urlacher back for start of season

With 26 days remaining until the start of the regular season, the Chicago Bears remain confident Brian Urlacher will be ready on time after he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery today.

Urlacher had a debridement procedure performed on his left knee this morning after more than two weeks of rest since his last practice July 31 did not sufficiently reduce pain and swelling. Urlacher, who sprained the MCL and PCL in the knee on Jan. 1, sat out the entire offseason program while he rehabilitated.

But the Pro Bowl performer tweaked the knee after about a week of training camp and it did not respond with rest.

“The treatment that we were giving Brian, he didn't respond as well as we wanted it to,” coach Lovie Smith said after practice this afternoon. :So we had it scoped this morning, a minor scope on his knee. Everything came out the way that we wanted it to. Of course he's here, he's back here right now. We're just still right on schedule, whatever that schedule is. Brian had talked about definitely being ready for the regular season. We, of course, think that. We'll just see how it goes from here.”

The Bears expected Urlacher to miss some time in training camp but didn’t plan on him needing to be shut down.

“We followed protocol in what we thought we should do at the time,” Smith said. “And now that we're here going back to last season doesn't help an awful lot. Right now Brian got the knee scoped. He's feeling really good about that. Again that's about all you can do right now to put the knee in the best possible position to be ready for the first game.”

Sometimes, players can be back and going two weeks after a scope. Sometimes, it takes more time off. We’ll see if the Bears get Urlacher back in time for Sept. 9 against the Colts.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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