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Urlacher has arthroscopic surgery

Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Tuesday but is expected to be ready for the team's season opener Sept. 9.

Urlacher, 34, has not practiced since July 31 because of soreness and swelling in his left knee. He injured the knee in last season's final game against Minnesota, but he thought he was 100 percent healthy by the time he arrived to training camp at Olivet Nazarene University.

Instead, Urlacher was forced to the sidelines after only a few light practices. He said Sunday that he would be ready by the season opener and did not want to jeopardize his status for that game by rushing his return to practice.

Although it's common for athletes to have a knee scoped via arthroscopic surgery, the bigger question surrounding Urlacher is whether he will be healthy enough to play 16 games this season. The Bears have reloaded their offense in hopes of making a run at the Super Bowl, but their chances to reach the playoffs would suffer without their longtime defensive leader.

The Bears will practice at 2 p.m. today, followed by a day off Wednesday.

-Tom Musick

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