Though he remains insistent that he'll be ready to take the field for his team's Sept. 9, 2012, season opener, Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher is reportedly coming off not just one, but multiple offseason knee surgeries, according to CSNChicago.com.
The 34-year-old Pro Bowler underwent the latest round of arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Tuesday, after missing a number of offseason workouts and the team's first preseason game with knee soreness. And while Urlacher continues to repeat his belief that he'll join his teammates for Chicago's Week 1 game against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, many aren't so sure.
One person questioning the optimism happens to be ESPN.com's medical analyst Dr. Michael Kaplan, who offers plenty of doubt that the veteran defender will be in uniform for Week 1.
"It's a little aggressive to have him back for the opener," Kaplan said Tuesday on ESPN1000 radio in Chicago. "I'm not sure or confident that is going to happen. Obviously it's something to shoot toward, but it's going to matter really how much damage he has to the joint surface."
Although Urlacher's toughness has never come into question during his 12-year NFL career, multiple knee surgeries -- in the same offseason, no less -- are no joke. Making it through the grind of a 16-game schedule could prove quite difficult for an aging linebacker playing on one damaged knee, so Urlacher will need to prove that he's fully healthy in order to jump back into the role to which he has become accustomed.
Stay with this StoryStream for more Urlacher injury news, and be sure to visit Windy City Gridiron for more Bears coverage. Check out SB Nation's NFL hub for more training camp news from around the league.