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Bears rookie Gabe Carimi has knee sprain, will miss a month

Updated: November 10, 2011 2:09PM

Bears rookie right tackle Gabe Carimi has a right knee sprain that’s expected to sideline him for a month, according to a league source.

Specific details of Carimi’s injury aren’t clear, and coach Lovie Smith termed it a “knee sprain” at his news conference Monday.

Two sources made it clear that Carimi’s injury isn’t season-ending.

Carimi had a history of right-knee issues at Wisconsin, including a torn MCL and a dislocated right kneecap suffered during a December 2009 bowl game.

In that victory in the Champs Sports Bowl, Carimi only was sidelined for one series.

In the 30-13 loss Sunday to the New Orleans Saints, Carimi got tangled up with about 30 seconds left in the first half.

Dr. Ronald Grelsamer of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York insisted that — assuming the timetable is correct — Carimi has a dislocated kneecap, not a dislocated knee.

In the latter, he said, “the shin bone is completely unhinged from the thigh bone.” In addition, at least two, if not all three, of the main ligaments also are torn.

“You’re out for the year, if not longer,” Grelsamer said. “The odds of that happening are zero-to-none if they’re out a month.”

Because he has a history, Carimi is more inclined to have his kneecap slip out again, Grelsamer said, likening it to an ankle sprain.

The range for a “sprain” could be days or months, he said.

“It’s very painful,” Grelsamer said. “But, depending on the underlying anatomy, you could be back [in a month].’’

This might sound eerily familiar to Bears fans.

In November 2002, Marc Colombo, the 29th overall pick of the Bears, suffered a dislocated kneecap and femoral nerve damage. He was put on injured reserve and also missed the 2003 season.

After appearing in the 2005 opener, Colombo was waived by the Bears and signed by the Dallas Cowboys, where he started all 16 games for three consecutive seasons.

He’s now with the Miami Dolphins.

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