Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Urlacher: Procedures not your business
By Michael C. Wright
Brian Urlacher said his knee felt fine Tuesday, one day after his first practice in a while.
Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said Tuesday that any past procedures that may have been performed on his injured left knee remain a private matter, adding "it is my business what I do with my body. As long as I'm ready to play for football season and on Sundays, that's all that people should care about."
"I know the media was having a fit over what was going on," Urlacher told the "Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "It's really none of their business. One of my friends told me they did a fan poll about if I should release what I do to my body. Eighty-five percent said no. So it's obvious they don't care. The people that care are the guys writing the article."
Having practiced on Monday for the first time since the first week of training camp, Urlacher said a day after taking in some action the knee felt as good Tuesday as it did before the club kicked off camp in July at Olivet Nazarene University. Despite expressing optimism about the possibility of the knee issues not recurring throughout the season, Urlacher acknowledged a part of that will come from the club limiting his repetitions in practice.
Urlacher hinted the club might utilize a one-practice-per-week schedule for him.
"We're gonna monitor my reps in practice," he said. "I know we can't do it in a game. There are a lot of teams that the guys 10 or 11 years in, (and they) practice one day a week. I've been lucky enough my whole career not to have to do that because I've been healthy for the most part. But it's not an option this year. I'm gonna have to take some reps off in practice so I can be fresh for the whole season."
Urlacher sprained the posterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee during the 2011 season finale at Minnesota, and he reportedly underwent multiple procedures in the offseason to repair an injury that kept him off the practice field throughout organized team activities, minicamps and the majority of training camp.
It was also reported that Urlacher sought a radical treatment in Germany before finally on Aug. 14 undergoing an arthroscopic surgery to clean out loose bodies in the knee. The scope was the only procedure Urlacher confirmed.
"My knee feels the same (now as it did prior to training camp)," he said. "I felt great going into camp. Then I think it aggravated a little bit on one of those days. It just flared up on me. So they scoped it, obviously.
"Now I feel like I do when I was going back into training camp. That's why I'm so optimistic. I feel the same as I did back then. The old injury was the PCL and the MCL, and it wasn't that (causing the most recent discomfort). Sometimes you get cartilage in there, and you get things floating around. The scope was just cleaning it out, getting all that stuff out so it quits aggravating your knee. It feels good now. That's all I care about."
Throughout the process, Urlacher remained tight-lipped about particulars regarding treatments or procedures on the knee, reiterating Tuesday "it's really no one's business." Dating back to training camp in July, the team took a similar stance as Bears coach Lovie Smith stated repeatedly -- like Urlacher -- the linebacker would be healthy enough to participate in the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
Urlacher quashed the idea of putting off his return to the starting lineup until Chicago's Sept. 13 matchup against the Green Bay Packers.
It had been suggested Urlacher should rest the season opener against the Colts, before returning against the Packers because of the short four-day turnaround between games.
"Every game is big in our season," Urlacher said. "We'll take time off after the Colts game. I'm sure I'll take Monday and Tuesday off, work out on Wednesday and then play on Thursday. You want to be out there every game. That's all there is to it for me. I don't see there being any bigger risk…say we have a Monday night game and play again on Sunday. It's just one extra day compared to this one. So it's not a big deal to me. I want to be out there."
Urlacher said he's not worrying about the possibility of suffering a setback by returning too soon.
"I'm not concerned. The training staff is not concerned. Our coach is not concerned," he said. "Once I get the green light to go on Sunday, I expect it to be an upward progression all season long."
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler concurred, saying Urlacher "looked good out there yesterday" at practice. Cutler expects Urlacher to be selected to his ninth career Pro Bowl if he can remain healthy, saying that such a possibility is "guaranteed."
"I don't think he'd go out there if he wasn't ready. I know he wants to be out there," Cutler said. "Lach, if anyone knows the importance of November, December football, and knowing what it's like being there whenever we're making playoff pushes, he's smart about it. If he says he's good to go, he's good to go."
In explaining his optimism about a full recovery, Urlacher joked that after Monday's practice his sunburned neck, which "really stings" felt worse than his recovering left knee. Urlacher says he might "be more sore on Monday after the game than I normally am," after the team plays the Colts, but "that's what the cold tub is for."
At this point, Urlacher says his chief concern is cardiovascular conditioning, but said, "hell no" to the possibility of the team monitoring his repetitions during games.
Since joining the Bears in 2000, Urlacher, 34, has missed 24 regular-season contests, but none in the past two years. The linebacker believes that even with concerns about the knee, he can still perform at a Pro Bowl level.
"Yes, I can. Yes, for sure. There's no doubt," Urlacher said.