Source: Gould could be cleared this week

CHICAGO -- If all goes according to plan, Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould is expected to receive medical clearance to officially resume kicking duties by Thursday, marking the first time the veteran has been full-go since he was placed on injured reserve Dec. 11.

Gould missed the final three weeks of the season after he suffered a ruptured semitendinosus tendon in his left leg, an injury that required surgery.

In the months following the surgery, Gould has been limited to rehab work through the Bears’ offseason program. However, that is expected to change this week.

The former All-Pro will miss Tuesday’s organized team activity in order to travel to Dallas to meet with his surgeon, Dr. Daniel Cooper, and then will return to Chicago to be examined by the Bears’ team doctors on Wednesday, according to league sources.

If both sets of doctors give the green light, Gould will be cleared to join his teammates on the field for the final few weeks of OTAs and will kick in the veteran mandatory minicamp June 11-13.

Once Gould returns to the field, he will have some competition in training camp for the first time in recent memory, as the Bears signed kicker Austin Signor to a three-year deal following the club’s voluntary three-day minicamp in April.

“I’m excited about it, I really am,” Gould said last month. “Competition is healthy, at every position, and it only makes all the players better. Hopefully, I can learn a little bit from Austin, and he can learn a little bit from me. This is exactly what the Bears are supposed to do. All good organizations create competition. It’s healthy. I’m looking forward to it. Competition brings out the best in everybody.”

Entering the final year of his contract, Gould is the second-leading scorer in Bears’ history with 902 points.