Brian Urlacher returns to camp

Updated: August 11, 2012, 7:07 PM ET
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher returned to training camp after missing time for what the team called personal reasons, but he did not take part in the afternoon practice session Saturday.

Urlacher missed six consecutive workouts entering the team's preseason-opening loss to the Denver Broncos on Thursday night, which the linebacker didn't attend.

Four of Urlacher's absences were attributed to soreness in his left knee, in which he sprained the medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments in the Bears' 2011 regular-season finale. The other two absences last Tuesday and Wednesday were excused by the team so Urlacher could deal with a personal matter.

Urlacher was wearing a jersey and shorts Saturday and did not have a brace on his knee.

"Brian Urlacher is back after he's taken care of some business," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "So it was good to get him back on the practice field even though he's not practicing yet. He still has some soreness with the knee. We'll continue to monitor it. Exactly when he'll be back, I can't tell you that. But it's good to get him back here."

The Bears want to take their time putting Urlacher back out on the field, but it's unclear whether the soreness he's experienced in the knee is directly related to the absences the club continues to classify as personal.

"The knee is sore, and he's been gone for personal reasons. That's all we're gonna really talk on the subject," Smith said.

In addition to Urlacher, two other Bears linebackers missed practice Saturday with various injuries. Jabara Williams (hamstring) didn't dress for the workout, and Smith revealed that second-year player Dom DeCicco is "gonna be on the shelf a while" with a pulled groin.

Also Saturday, the Bears signed linebackers Xavier Adibi and K.C. Asiodu and defensive end Aston Whiteside.

Those players, however, can't practice in full pads for three days due to terms of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement.

"That's another reason why we had to bring in a couple of guys," Smith said. "As you look down the football field today, we had five linebackers out of uniform. It's hard to practice that way. We're banged up at the linebacker position a little bit. We've had to bring in a couple of other players. (We) also brought in another defensive lineman."

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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