Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Tribune reports that Urlacher went to Europe to seek an alternative treatment.
One source said Urlacher left in May or early June to meet with what one source described as “that famous doctor everybody goes to,” while the other source said he opted for “non-invasive treatment” that he paid for himself.
That prompted speculation he followed the path of Kobe Bryant and Alex Rodriguez, using the Regenokine injection therapy method of German-based Dr. Peter Wehling.
His methods haven’t been approved by the FDA, but they have become a popular alternative treatment for athletes and celebrities.
In a nutshell, it replaces surgery with drawing and separating the patients’ own blood, then injecting the protein-rich serum back into the problem area.
A Bears spokesman declined to discuss the visit, and so did Urlacher when pressed by a Tribune reporter.
The New York Times once called Wehling’s clinic “almost a pilgrimage site for athletes trying to prolong careers that have tested the limits of their bodies.”
In addition to Bryant and Rodriguez, players such as NBA star Grant Hill and golfers Vijay Singh and Fred Couples have undergone the procedure, and new Philadelphia 76ers center Andrew Bynum is about to.
Wehling even treated Nick Nolte and Pope John Paul II (and there has to be a punch line there).
Urlacher’s within his rights to try whatever treatment he chooses. It’s his body, and his $7,500. But if he went there this summer and still had to shut himself down after a week of camp for more surgery, you can only hope he saw some of Europe so he can call it a vacation.