Back in late November, 49ers running back Kendall Hunter suffered a torn Achilles tendon against the New Orleans Saints, ending what up to then had been a very solid season. We have seen little word of the extent of the injury, which means we do not have much in the way of a timetable. The 49ers reportedly expect Hunter back in time for training camp.
This is fairly fitting timing as Redskins tight end Fred Davis was reportedly cleared to resume running and other rehab related activities, four months after suffering his own Achilles tear. We can't completely compare Davis' injury with that of Hunter because we don't quite know the level of each tear. This is more just to give us a general idea of another somewhat similar injury.
At this point, four to six weeks from now could give us a bit better idea of where Hunter stands. That would put him in the range of when Fred Davis was cleared to return to running. Hunter did get out of his walking boot back in late January, so that is one sign of progress. Until we know more about the extent of Hunter's tear we're left to wonder. For now, late March or early April would appear to be the next marker to keep an eye on. If he is cleared for more rehab work, things would seem OK. If not, then we just keep on waiting.
The 49ers likely will not feel the need to rush Hunter back. Having Gore, Hunter and James together makes for a potentially absurdly incredible backfield. If Hunter is not quite 100%, James and Anthony Dixon could provide enough pop behind Frank Gore to buy some time. I don't know whether Hunter will start training camp on the PUP list, but it is not the end of the world if that is the case. Heck, it even provides Jewel Hampton with more opportunities to potentially earn a role.