Urlacher has knee surgery, targets season opener for return
(Reuters) - Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher of the Chicago Bears had arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday but says he will be ready for his team's regular season opener on September 9 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Urlacher underwent a debridement procedure on his left knee to help relieve swelling, the Bears said.
The 34-year-old eight-time Pro Bowler partially sprained the posterior cruciate ligament in Chicago's final game last season against Minnesota and was sidelined for the entire offseason training program.
"I hate sitting out," Urlacher told the Bears official website (www.chicagobears.com/). "I practiced the first four or five days and felt pretty good, and then it got sore and a little swollen, so I'm taking some time off right now."
Asked about the likely timetable for his return, Urlacher replied: "September 9, I'll be ready to play for sure. That's really 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."
The ninth overall pick by the Bears in the 2000 draft, Urlacher has spent his entire National Football League career in Chicago while establishing himself as one of the sport's top defensive players.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Steve Ginsburg)
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