Bears great Steve McMichael expected to return home from hospital on Thursday

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CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Bears great Steve McMichael, who is battling ALS, is expected to return home Thursday after being hospitalized the past week, longtime publicist Betsy Shepherd said.

The 66-year-old McMichael went public with an ALS diagnosis three years ago. He was admitted into intensive care at a suburban hospital last Thursday — a week after being voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame — with a urinary tract infection.

The family announced Saturday he had developed MRSA, a staph infection that can be difficult to treat because it is resistant to certain antibiotics, and was undergoing a blood transfusion.

McMichael, who controlled the interior of the line for the Bears’ famed “46 defense,” was an All-Pro during the 1985 Super Bowl championship season and in 1987. He played in a franchise-record 191 consecutive games from 1981-1993 and ranks second to Hall of Famer Richard Dent on the Bears’ all-time sacks list with 92 1/2. His final season was with Green Bay in 1994.

Whether he was terrorizing opponents or discussing the Bears on sports talk radio, the man known as “Ming The Merciless” and “Mongo” after the character in “Blazing Saddles” who knocked out a horse, remained a prominent presence in Chicago long after his playing days ended. He also spent five years in professional wrestling in the late 1990s. ___

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