Bears Urlacher adjusts to brace on knee

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said Wednesday wearing a brace on his left knee has been an adjustment for him.

Urlacher sprained his left medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments in a collision with teammate Major Wright in the team’s 2011 finale. Surgery wasn’t required, and he’s since worn a small brace on his left knee.

Urlacher sat out Wednesday’s practice because of knee soreness. He is expected to return to practice on Thursday.

“It drives me nuts,” Urlacher said of wearing the brace during training camp while on the “Waddle and Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. “I’ve never worn a brace on any part of my body my whole career. It’s weird to wear, but I wore it this summer when I did my running drills. I feel comfortable with it on.

“I just like the way it feels. The way my knee is right now, I’ve gotten use to wearing it. I don’t see me taking it off anytime soon.”

Urlacher was confident his athleticism wouldn’t be affected by the brace.

“It’s 14 ounces,” Urlacher said. “That’s all it weighs. It’s just annoying. I’ve never had to worry about anything on my leg. If my pants are tight, you know our pants are tight as heck. It’s a little tough getting the pants over the brace, but it’s okay.”

Also because of his knee, Urlacher gets why he and the Bears have yet to agree on a contract extension. He’s in the final season of his contract.

“It’s not a slap in the face to me,” Urlacher said. “This is my 13th year, so I can understand the situation with where the team is. I’m coming off a knee injury. It’s a business, so I understand both sides of it.”

Urlacher was second on the team with 102 tackles last season.