Brian Urlacher still aiming to be ready for opener on Sept. 9
BY SEAN JENSEN Twitter: @seankjensen August 16, 2012 12:52PM
Despite recently having his knee scoped, Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher insists that his goal is to be ready for the Bears' season opener on Sept. 9 against the Colts. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: August 16, 2012 5:24PM
BOURBONNAIS – Brian Urlacher had a simple message Thursday, two days after undergoing a scope on his left knee.
“Sept. 9. Ask me another question, I’ll tell you Sept. 9,” Urlacher said, repeating the date of the 2012 season opener against the Indianapolis Colts. “That’s my goal, and that’s what we’re shooting for and the whole time, that’s been our goal.”
Urlacher said he feels relief after the minor procedure, and Bears coach Lovie Smith indicated Tuesday afternoon that the plan was for Urlacher to be healed in time for the opener.
So why did he get the procedure Tuesday?
“It just didn’t feel like it was getting any better. We decided, as a team, that it’d be better to do that, and we did,” he said.
Urlacher was a bit nervous, since he’d never had any issues with his knees.
“But the scope, is a one- to two week recovery, so it doesn’t seem like that big a deal to me. First time I’ve had something done on my knee, so it’s different,” he said. “But if I have to have something done, that’s the thing to be done.”
Urlacher isn’t sure if his knees will bother him throughout the season.
“We’ll have to see. There could be something, there might not be any,” he said. “I’m sure it’s not going to feel comfortable all season long. I don’t think after the first game, anyone is healthy.”
Bears linebacker Nick Roach, who is filling in at middle linebacker for Urlacher, had a scope during the 2010 preseason and returned for the opener, which was about 2 ½ weeks.
“Nick was quick,” Urlacher said. “I just listen to the doctors. You see guys get scoped all the time on TV, at the bottom of the screen. It doesn’t see like that big of a deal, so I wasn’t that worried about it.”
But Urlacher admitted frustration that the injury continues to be a problem. He injured his MCL and PCL in the season finale against the Minnesota Vikings, when teammate Major Wright crashed into him in the end zone while they tried to defend a pass play.
“It’s taken longer then I wanted. I felt really good at the beginning of training camp, and then I think I aggravated it a little bit, practicing those first few days, and it kind of flared up on me, and swelled up and some pain in there,” he said. “So it is frustrating because after seven months, you’d think you’d be healthy again. But, I should be good to go now, hopefully.”
Still, Urlacher said training camp practices and preseason games are important but not more important than the regular season contests that count.
Urlacher isn’t sure, but he alluded to his hamstring injury a few years ago, when he was limited to two days of practice a week.
“I was young back then. So we’ll see how it goes now,” he said. “I’m sure it’ll be managed a little bit closer then it has been in the past.”
Urlacher added that the decision to have the procedure was made Monday night. He had the procedure Tuesday morning.
For now, though, Urlacher trusts his position to Roach.
“I never worry about Nick. He does a good job. I guess he’s more vocal now,” Urlacher said. “But he knows the defense, he’s an athletic guy, our team trusts him.”