The Chicago Bears just announced that Brian Urlacher underwent an arthroscopic debridement procedure on his left knee this morning. The surgery, known as a knee scope, was done in the hopes of clearing out any debris that might be causing the starting linebacker discomfort.
This comes after Lovie Smith and Urlacher himself this week denied that any surgery would take place before the regular season.
Urlacher was injured in the season finale last year after a collision with safety Major Wright, which forced him to land awkwardly and twist his left knee out of place. It was originally diagnosed as a sprain of the PCL and MCL.
He did not participate in any of the offseason training activities (OTA) or veteran minicamp. He suited up for the first four practices of training camp before the knee swelled up and has been out ever since.
"The first four or five days it felt pretty good and then it got sore and started swelling, so I’m taking some time off right now," Urlacher said Sunday. "I’ve been off for nine, 10 days now. It feels better. When I’m not running around on it of course it’s not going to swell up as bad."
The team has said all along that Urlacher will be ready to go for the regular season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
"September 9, I’ll be ready to play for sure," said Urlacher. "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."
Despite the surgery, the team says Urlacher should still meet the goal of playing in the season opener. Yet at this point, with all of the smoke they've been blowing during camp, one doesn't know what to believe anymore.
If Urlacher can't suit up on Sept. 9, the coaches will slide Nick Roach to middle linebacker, leaving Lance Briggs on the weak side and insert Geno Hayes on the strong side.
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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.