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Johnny Knox Injury: Devin Hester Is Doing All He Can For His Friend

Chicago Bears wide receiver Johnny Knox suffered a broken vertebrae during the team's Week 15 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in 2011, and he has been hard at work trying to rehab from that brutal injury ever since. He lost over 30 pounds during his recovery from spinal surgery, and now it's unclear when he will be back in a Bears uniform.

Devin Hester has been encouraging Knox at every turn, and it goes well beyond football, as Knox told Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune on Thursday:

"Devin has been there for me on and off the field throughout my career," Knox said. "He's someone I've always looked up to since the first day I got here. He is someone I truly trust as a friend."

"...He has been more worried about my health than if or when I am going to return to the field. That means a lot to me -- that he is more concerned about my health than when I am going to play again."

On Wednesday, Hester got emotional talking about the injury, saying he is very close with Knox and that it hurts him because "he's like a little brother to me."

Nobody knows exactly when Knox could return to the field. He admitted there is a chance he could miss the 2012 season, but after such a serious injury everyone is still focused on his overall health going forward in life. That's exactly how it should be, too.

Stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for more information, and for in-depth analysis on the Chicago Bears, be sure to visit Windy City Gridiron. And drop by SB Nation's NFL news hub for more updates and commentary from around the league.