|Urlacher works with Lance Briggs in training camp. (US Presswire)|
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher's been missing from practice for most of this offseason. And a result of a knee injury that's kept him sidelined, the linebacker underwent surgery this week. Now there's some confusion about whether or not it was Urlacher's first time under the knife.
John Mullen of CSNChicago.com reports that Urlacher had a similar procedure "near the end of the 2011 regular season." And one source also told Mullen that Urlacher "had a second procedure done last spring."
But Urlacher, via our Gene Chamberlain on our Rapid Reports Blog, denied that he'd had surgical work done on the knee previously.
His stock -- and that of the Bears defense -- took a hit with the news that Urlacher had the procedure done on his knee. But coming off the surgery, Urlacher is still optimistic that he can make it back in time for the Bears opener, as CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora wrote on Thursday.
"September 9th, September 9th. That's all I care about. September 9th," Urlacher said, citing Chicago's opening date. "It was a very minor surgery and there's only a couple of stitches in there. That's about it."
Thursday wasn't the first time Urlacher's denied having previous knee surgeries. When he was gone earlier in the offseason, there was some speculation that he had surgical work done. But the linebacker directly denied having previously had his knee scoped when asked about it in a recent radio interview.
"I don't know," Urlacher said when asked about the timeline to recover from the operation. "I am just going to keep resting right now. 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."
It doesn't make a ton of sense that Urlacher, fresh off of one surgical procedure, would bother trying to cover up the fact that he's had work done. And it doesn't really matter whether or not he's had multiple procedures if he can hit that September 9 target anyway, although he made it clear he expects to play in pain throughout the season.
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