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1985 Bears Coverage: Bear hero McMahon returns to hospital

Every day of the 2015 Chicago Bears season, Chicago Sun-Times Sports will revisit its coverage 30 years ago during the 1985 Bears’ run to a Super Bowl title.

Bear hero McMahon returns to hospital

Kevin Lamb

Originally published Sept. 21, 1985

Jim McMahon didn’t sleep well after his dream-come-true game Thursday night. “He was in a lot of pain,” a friend said, “but elated.”

He checked back in to Lake Forest Hospital yesterday afternoon for at least two days’ treatment on his infected leg bruise and his upper back spasms.

But trainer Fred Caito said Dr. Jay Munsell, the team internist, “was not too concerned with” the infection, McMahon’s more serious injury.

“I’m sure I’ll practice this week,” said McMahon, who played Thursday night in the Bears’ 33-24 victory at Minnesota after missing the week’s practices.

“What I’m worried about is what we’re going to do at strong safety,” defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan said. Dave Duerson left the game with a pulled groin muscle, which Caito also downplayed.

Marshall a safety?

“Those things can last forever,” Ryan said. If Duerson’s lasts more than a week, Ryan planned to put linebacker Wilber Marshall at strong safety.

“I’ll probably put Wilber at strong safety and Ron Rivera at linebacker,” Ryan said. “I was going to put Cliff Thrift out there, but he’s got a separated shoulder.”

Caito, ever the antithesis of alarmism, did not mention Thrift’s injury. He indicated the most serious injury was to Kurt Becker, whose knee popped during the game. He said it was too early to determine whether Becker would need surgery.

Payton better

Walter Payton’s painful ribs were better than after the previous game, Caito said. “He took a couple hits on it. The rest is really going to help him.”

The Bears will have three days off before beginning practice Tuesday for their next game, a home game a week from Sunday against Washington.

The discoloration and rashlike infection lines around McMahon’s lower leg bruise were less noticeable than they were on Sunday.

Caito said McMahon would be in traction and would have the leg treated with heat, antibiotics and elevation.

The bruise happened in the season opener two weeks ago. McMahon said Munsell told him the infection probably entered through a hand abrasion suffered during an exhibition game.