Bears LB Brian Urlacher has knee surgery, hopes to be ready for season opener

Left to right: Johnny Knox (13), Brian Urlacher (54) and Charles Tillman (33) of the Chicago Bears chat during a minicamp practice at Halas Hall on June 12, 2012 in Lake Forest, Illinois. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

(CBS/AP) BOURBONNAIS, Ill. - Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher has undergone arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and still hopes to be ready for the season opener.

The Bears said that Urlacher had an arthroscopic debridement procedure on Tuesday morning to help relieve swelling in the knee and was back at training camp by 10 a.m. He missed the offseason training program after spraining the medial collateral ligament and partially spraining the posterior cruciate ligament in the final game last year against Minnesota.

Urlacher was ready for the start of camp, but has not practiced since July 31 and was away from the team recently for what were described as personal reasons. Even so, he said Sunday that he expects to be ready for the opener against Indianapolis on Sept. 9.

"September 9 I'll be ready to play," he said Sunday, according to CBSSports.com's Gene Chamberlain. "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 and miss the first game."

Urlacher told WFLD Fox-32 in Chicago on Sunday that he didn't know if there was arthroscopic surgery he could have and still return in two weeks.

"I am just going to keep resting right now," he said. "I have never had a scope. I don't know how that stuff works. This is the first time I have ever done anything to my knee so I am kind of new to this. I don't know. Honestly, I don't know how that works."

Urlacher acknowledged that the knee could be an issue all season, adding, "I don't see it getting any better during the season. We have to manage it, my reps in practice, and then get through Sunday."

This is an important season for Urlacher, a 13-year veteran and mainstay for the Chicago defense. He has an expiring contract and is prepared to enter free agency, although he would like to remain with the Bears.

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