Bears LB Urlacher avoided tearing ACL, won't need surgery

The Chicago Bears say an MRI taken Monday showed Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher didn't suffer any major structural damage to his left knee during the previous day's season-ending victory at Minnesota.

The Bearsannounced on their website that the test confirmed Urlacher sprained his medial collateral ligament and partially sprained the posterior cruciate ligament on an awkward landing late in Sunday's game, but there wasn't any damage to his anterior cruciate ligament, menisci or articulating cartilage.

Urlacher was injured with 5:15 left in the game, when Bears teammate Major Wright and Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin landed on him while going for an incomplete pass in the end zone. Urlacher's leg bent, and he briefly covered his face with his hand in pain. Even though he was able to walk off the field, the injury caused major concern for the Bears.

Urlacher, one of the faces of the franchise, was just selected to his eighth Pro Bowl.

The Chicago Tribune reported Monday that Urlacher will not need surgery, but he will have to rehabilitate his knee for 10 weeks.

"I never hurt my knee like that before, so I didn't know what to think," Urlacher told the newspaper. "(Trainer) Tim Bream was out there in two seconds. They tested my ACL then and said it was fine."

"They were right on. They said MCL/PCL was what they thought, and of course they were right."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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