49ers Players-Only Minicamp: Eric Heitmann Still Not Cleared To Practice

Starting tomorrow, the San Francisco 49ers will begin a players-only minicamp featuring offensive players. While the full participant list is not available, tweets and reports have indicated some of the players that will be present. Vernon Davis tweeted that he'll be attending and Barrows indicated at least five rookies attending, including Colin Kaepernick, Kendall Hunter, Ronald Johnson, Daniel Kilgore and Michael Person.

One player not expected to attend is center Eric Heitmann. 2010 was a nightmare season for the 49ers center as he missed the beginning of the season with a fractured fibula, and the rest of the season with a neck injury. I don't recall seeing any specifics about his neck injury, but there were no reports of surgery. However, the injury continues to be an issue as he has not yet been medically cleared to practice.

Alex Smith said the practices this week would be fairly basic without any offense versus defense drills. Nonetheless, practicing brings an inherent risk of injury. Even if the team is just walking through and doing some basic drills, it makes sense for Heitmann to sit out until he's been medically cleared. I

Thus far as teams have begun working out, there hasn't been any word of injuries, serious or otherwise. Given how easily some of these injuries can happen, I wouldn't be surprised if news broke of a player suffering some sort of injury. And if it's a particularly catastrophic injury (e.g. ACL injury), the media will jump all over it. If such an injury does occur it suddenly brings up the issue of coverage once football returns. If a player blows out his knee or breaks a bone during these lockout practices, will all hell break loose once the lockout is over?

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