Urlacher still not practicing, preseason opener in question


Urlacher still not practicing, preseason opener in question

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. Linebacker Brian Urlacher remained sidelined with knee soreness for his fourth straight practice, raising a reasonable doubt that he will be available for the preseason opener Thursday night against Denver.

That call wont be made until later this week but veterans like Urlacher and Julius Peppers, who also sat out most of Sundays practice before a crowd of more than 12,000, need less preseason game time rather than more.

Theres concern with Urlacher, coach Lovie Smith said. But with our veterans, I think I have a pretty good idea what Brian can do. So, if we dont feel he should go, then well hold him out some more. But we havent made that decision yet.

If there is cause for worry, it lies in the fact that the soreness is occurring seven months after the injury, which occurred in the Bears Jan. 1 win at Minnesota.

However, consider: Urlacher has missed games in only two of his 12 NFL seasons, with a season-ending wrist injury (2009) and with multiple hamstring injuries (2004). Knee soreness is unlikely to keep him out when it matters.

And Urlacher is in a contract year, meaning he will be more than a little motivated to show the Bears and the rest of the league that hes just fine, thank you very much.

Its always concern when you have an injury at the end of the year, and you miss some time in the offseason, Smith said. But he should be OK. Its not like he really hurt it any more. You assume hed have some soreness, and hed miss a few of these training camp practices.

Bastian Schweinsteiger happy with Manchester United's Europa League win

Bastian Schweinsteiger happy with Manchester United's Europa League win

Bastian Schweinsteiger's time with Manchester United wound down with him being essentially frozen out of the team for an extended period, but he was still happy to see his former teammates win a European trophy on Wednesday.

Man U beat Ajax 2-0 to win the Europa League final in Stockholm. The win sealed a berth in next year's Champions League for the Red Devils.

Despite the way Schweinsteiger's tenure in England ended, the German midfielder has still said positive things about the club since leaving for the Chicago Fire in March. He tweeted out a good luck message to the team ahead of the final.

Paul Pogba scored in the first half and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored in the second half to seal United's win and the trophy to end a season that included a sixth-place finish in the Premier League.

Schweinsteiger didn't play in any Premier League matches this season, but his last appearance for the Manchester club was as a subtitute in the Europa League round of 32 at French club Saint-Etienne.

Training with the Fire on Wednesday kept him from watching the whole final, but he said he did watch what he could.

“I’m happy for United," Schweinsteiger said after the Fire's 2-1 win against Dallas. "I’m happy for them. They are a good team and I’m happy they can play in Champions League next year.”

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