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Urlacher remains on track for opener

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 28, 2012 – 5:15 pm

Bears coach Lovie Smith reiterated Tuesday that middle linebacker Brian Urlacher remains on track to return to face the Indianapolis Colts in the Sept. 9 season opener at Soldier Field.

“Just like we’ve said all along, I expect to see No. 54 out on the field next week in practice and playing against the Colts,” Smith said. “Brian is making a lot of progress.”

Urlacher underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Aug. 14. He sat out the entire offseason program while recovering from a knee injury he suffered in last year’s season finale in Minnesota.

The eight-time Pro Bowl participated in the first four training camp practices in Bourbonnais, but hasn’t worked out with his teammates since July 31.

The timetable for punter Adam Podlesh’s return is less certain. The sixth-year pro will miss his second straight preseason game with a hip flexor injury he sustained Aug. 18 against the Redskins.

“I have no idea when he’ll be back.” Smith said. “I’m not trying to give you the standard answer of, ‘Hey, they’re getting better,’ but he is getting better. He’s making progress. We’re seeing him do things. He can’t punt the ball right now. But we’re encouraged by his progress.”

Asked about playing in the season opener against the Colts, Podlesh said: “Nobody has ruled that out yet. It’s a possibility. [But] we’re going to be smart about how we get myself back on the field. It’s been going well. Every day has been positive, which is good.”

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