Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher insists he will play in the team's season opener after having multiple procedures on his left knee. (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher says his surgically repaired left knee will never be the same but that's not going to keep him out of the lineup for the season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
Urlacher, who is entering his 13th NFL season, said he will start and expects to play.
"I'm playing Sunday," Urlacher said to ESPN.com. "That's a done deal."
Urlacher sprained the medial collateral and posterior cruticate ligaments in his left knee in the season finale and then underwent an arthroscopic clean-up procedure three weeks ago. Urlacher has barely practiced during training camp after missing the team's offseason programs. It has been reported that Urlacher traveled overseas to seek teatment that didn't involve surgery.
"(The left knee) feels much better now," Urlacher said. "I have been running around quite a bit, not with the team in practice, I have been taking it really slow like Coach Smith said we would. Everything they are going to let me do, I'll do."