Urlacher has minor neck surgery; full recovery expected by July

CHICAGO -- Bears star linebacker Brian Urlacher underwent minor neck surgery recently and is expected to be fully recovered when training camp starts in July.

Brian Urlacher, LB
Chicago Bears
2007 statistics
G/GS: 16/16

Tackles (total): 123

Sacks: 5.0

Int.: 5 (1 TD)

He acknowledged during the season that an arthritic back condition forced him at times to play in pain. The Bears declined to comment Friday.

Urlacher did not make the Pro Bowl this season, when the Bears fell to 7-9 a year after making the Super Bowl. He led the team with 123 tackles and had five sacks and five interceptions. He had been chosen for the Pro Bowl six times previously.

Urlacher, who will be 30 in May, signed a nine-year contract with the Bears in 2003. He's been durable most of his career, except for the 2004 season when he missed seven games with leg and hamstring injuries.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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