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Brian Urlacher pledges he will ‘be ready’ for season opener

Updated: September 14, 2012 6:13AM

BOURBONNAIS — Brian Urlacher missed his eighth consecutive practice with a sore left knee Sunday. But the nine-time Pro Bowl linebacker said resolutely he will start in the Bears’ regular-season opener Sept. 9 against the Indianapolis Colts.

‘‘Sept. 9, I’ll be ready to play for sure,’’ Urlacher said when asked if he had a timetable for his return. ‘‘That’s all that matters to me. Preseason games and all these practices, I’d love to be out there. But I’m not going to put myself in jeopardy of missing the first game.’’

Urlacher missed much of the offseason program rehabilitating sprained ligaments in his left knee, an injury he suffered in the final game of last season. He participated in the first five practices — the last three in full pads — but has not practiced since July 31 because of soreness in the knee.

‘‘The first four or five days it felt pretty good, and then it got sore and started swelling,’’ Urlacher told reporters. ‘‘So I’m taking some time off right now.’’

He said the injured knee feels better than it did but didn’t sound like he was ready to return to practice.

‘‘I’ve been off for nine, 10 days now,’’ he said. ‘‘It feels better. When I’m not running around on it, of course it’s not going to swell up as bad.’’

He didn’t say whether he had any further tests on the knee since it became a problem.

‘‘My doctors are the best. I trust what they say,’’ Urlacher said. ‘‘I just do what I’m told to do.’’

He said he wasn’t concerned the knee will be a recurring issue.

‘‘No,’’ he said. ‘‘Once I’m back out there, we’ll monitor my reps and try to make sure it doesn’t blow up again.’’

It remains to be seen when or if Urlacher’s knee will be 100 percent. It’s likely his practice time — and perhaps his playing time — will have to be managed this season.

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