We can deduce that Brian Urlacher’s left knee isn’t in very good shape
BY RICK MORRISSEY email@example.com August 22, 2012 10:00PM
Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher during practice Tuesday, June 12, 2012 in Lake Forest, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Updated: September 24, 2012 7:55AM
There are a bunch of murky unknowns about Brian Urlacher’s reported trip to Europe, the one in which he did or didn’t undergo treatment on his troublesome left knee.
None of it would matter if those unknowns weren’t pointing in a direction that is doing a very good imitation of a known: His knee is not at all good right now.
Asked Wednesday if he had visited a German doctor for a blood therapy that claims to aid in healing, Urlacher wouldn’t give a definitive answer. He didn’t even give an “Ich bin ein Berliner’’ speech, which at least would have been clever.
“It doesn’t matter what I did or what I haven’t done,’’ he said. “This is where we’re at now, so that’s really all that matters.’’
Thus, all we’re left with is A) a Tribune story that said the linebacker might have been overseas three months ago to meet with the doctor and B) the fact that neither Urlacher nor the Bears would confirm or deny the report.
In other words, it’s most likely true.
But that’s not the important part of this. It doesn’t matter if Urlacher sought outside help, if he went to a witch doctor or if his physician is based in Whoville. The story here is that Urlacher’s knee has not improved as much as it should have. The story is a short one: uh-oh.
It’s the only good explanation for his and the team’s hush-hush approach to the state of his knee. If he were making good progress and you were the Bears, you’d want that known, yes? If things had been going well over the last eight months, you would have wanted to get the word out, correct?
I’m not sure how Urlacher or the team would be hurt by a definitive answer on what’s wrong with his knee. If they believe it’s a certainty opposing players will go after the injured area, fine, but it became a certainty the moment he got hurt in the last game of last season.
This is standard-operating procedure for the secretive Bears, who would deny the existence of Oscar Pistorius’ prostheses if he played for the team. But it looks and sounds bad for Urlacher.
“I’ve told you all that I’m going to do as far as talking about it,’’ coach Lovie Smith said after practice Wednesday. “I should have made that perfectly clear.’’
The therapy is called Regenokine, and it involves using a patient’s own blood to reduce pain. Several well-known athletes, including Kobe Bryant and Alex Rodriguez, have used it.
We don’t know if Urlacher has. It’s among several of those pesky unknowns I referred to earlier. We’re left to raise some other possibilities:
◆ Urlacher went to Europe and had the alternative blood therapy, but it wasn’t effective, leading to the arthroscopic procedure he had last week.
◆ He didn’t get the therapy but did rack up some major frequent-flier miles.
◆ He told the Bears about the blood therapy, and they just about died when they heard the news.
◆ He didn’t tell the Bears about the procedure in Europe, and they actually did die when they found out about it.
◆ Something should have been done for his knee a long time ago, and now he and the team are paying for it.
◆ A productive season by Urlacher is in serious jeopardy.
It’s that last one that stings more than any scalpel could, and it might help explain some of the secrecy. Or are we talking about a career-threatening situation?
See, that’s the problem when answers are locked up and the key thrown away. The mind goes in directions it perhaps shouldn’t.
“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,’’ Smith said.
What we do know is that Urlacher had arthroscopic surgery last week to relieve pain and swelling in the knee. He suffered sprained medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments against Minnesota in January.
Other than that, who really knows?
“I see ’Lach every day,’’ Bears defensive lineman Israel Idonije said. “I think he’s going to be fine. He knows his body. He’s going to do what he can to be ready to go and not halfway. He’s going to be ready to play and be effective.’’
The guess here is that Idonije is only partially correct: Urlacher will play, because that’s what Urlacher does. The silence out of Halas Hall implies it won’t be nearly the same Urlacher.