Eight-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker Brian Urlacher was evasive Wednesday in answering questions regarding a report that he sought an experimental procedure in Europe to facilitate quicker healing of his injured left knee.
He answered several questions from the media, but dodge the key points of the questions.
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"I heard about that," Urlacher said after Wednesday afternoon's practice when asked for a response to the Chicago Tribune article. "Are there any quotes from me in there? Yeah, I didn't think there were any quotes from me in there or anybody else for that matter. I didn't think so."
Asked if he visited Germany, where the procedure was reported to have taken place, Urlacher said, "I went to Europe last year. We played in London (Oct. 26 against the Bucs), so I was definitely in Europe last year. Thanks."
Urlacher suffered sprains of his MCL (medial collateral ligament) and PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) in last year's season finale. He participated in the first few practices of training camp but has not practiced since July 31. He had an arthroscopic debridement on the knee Aug. 14 and is still hoping to be in the opening day lineup Sept.. 9 against the Colts.
"It doesn't matter what I did or what I haven't done," Urlacher said. "This is where we're at now, so that's all that really matters."
The experimental procedure involves using the healing properties in a patient's own blood to speed the healing process at an injured site and is approved in Europe but not in the U.S. It is similar to platelet rich plasma therapy, which is an approved procedure.
Bears coach Lovie Smith was asked if he could shed any light on the report.
"You can probably shed some on me," he said. "Another report? From who?
"Once you come up with someone that says, 'this happened,' then I can respond to it. We've already responded to all of it. I know right now Brian Urlacher is here. He's getting healthy every day, and I don't see what else we need to talk about."
Asked if there was any truth to the report, Smith said: "You tell me. I've told you all that I'm going to, as far as talking about it. I should have made that perfectly clear."
Later, in his post-practice news conference, after answering a non-related question, Smith returned to the topic of Urlacher and injuries.
"Going back to Brian Urlacher one more time, and just in general, through the year, we're not going to respond to every article, or every person who comes out there and says something," the Bears' coach said. "If we have information, we'll give it to you. From there I think you can understand on things we don't want to talk about.
"We don't talk about injuries in general. So I'm not going to go over everything that's been happening since then, except for to tell you he's here right now, he's getting better and we're expecting him to play the first game."