It has been eight days since Brian Urlacher had arthroscopic knee surgery in another attempt to treat an injury sustained at the end of the 2011 season. The word on the street, however, is that he still plans to be ready for the September 9 opener against the Colts.
“It just didn’t feel like it was getting any better. So we decided as a team and as a training staff that it would be better to do that, and that’s what we did,” Urlacher said Thursday. “September 9, that’s all I care about. Our goal is September 9.”
The report coming from the Bears’ training staff is that they will monitor Urlacher’s progress carefully, including limiting his involvement in practice in an effort to maximize his playing time that according to him will begin on September 9. I would not recommend asking him again when he plans to return…
“September 9, ask me another question and I’ll tell you September 9. That’s my goal. That’s what we’re shooting for, and the whole time that’s been our goal,” Urlacher said. “You never want to get surgery.”
Urlacher’s irritation at the continuous line of questioning is obvious, and so I can only imagine his reaction if he heard the opinion of ESPN medical analyst Dr. Michael Kaplan, who has not treated Urlacher. He believes a Week 1 return might be too lofty a goal. “It’s a little aggressive to have him back for the opener,” Kaplan said Tuesday on “The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show” on ESPN 1000. “I’m not sure or confident that is going to happen. Obviously, it’s something to shoot toward, but it’s going to matter really how much damage he has to the joint surface.”
There are also the naysayers out there who think that a 34-year-old Brian Urlacher is going to need more time to recover. I prefer not to address that line of thought as it is hard to admit that he is getting old for a football player, especially a middle linebacker. I intend to especially ignore the blog of Kevin Seifert, a known Minnesota Vikings fan (and thus an enemy) who claims, “You better believe, however, that opponents will be eager to test the deep middle against the Bears once Urlacher returns. If I were facing a 34-year-old middle linebacker with a bum knee, I know I would.”
As much as I want to see the Bears at full strength against the Colts for the season opener, I would much rather know Brian Urlacher is going to play for the regular season and beyond. After all, I have already announced that the Bears are Super Bowl bound! If for some reason Urlacher has to miss the opener, he will have another opportunity to play only four days later when the Bears take on their arch-rival Packers for Thursday night football on September 13.
So this Bears fan says, “Whoa there Brian Urlacher; take it easy as needed, and prove the doubters (aka non-Bears fans) wrong!”