The San Francisco 49ers have done a good job getting various players healthy and back on the field, but we know that the big one, Michael Crabtree, remains on the sideline for the next few months. Crabtree has been rehabbing since his late May Achilles tear, and it sounds like his recovery is going quite well.
Jim Harbaugh was on KNBR this morning, and he mentioned a conversation he'd had in the locker room with Michael Crabtree this week. Crabtree apparently told Harbaugh that he was already walking up hills, and planned on starting some jogging in the next couple days.
All these reports seem to indicate he is right on or even a little ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation. It's a long, difficult process, but so far, so good. Last night, Crabtree posted this picture on Instagram:
That is something called the Alter G Anti-Gravity Treadmill. Kobe Bryant tweeted out a similar picture a while back. It apparently can be prominently involved in rehabbing a torn Achilles tendon. They have some details at their website.
Speaking of Kobe Bryant, he has been very optimistic in his own recovery. I've seen Crabtree tweet out Kobe once in a while, so I'm curious if they are sharing rehab tips. Bryant suffered his tear in mid-April, so he's a little over a month ahead of Crabtree in the recovery process. It's hard to make the comparison between basketball players and football players, but I imagine there are some similarities they can discuss.
If still on his expected timetable, Crabtree is looking at a late November return at the very earliest. I suppose he could hit up some new treatment options that speed that up, but the general consensus for now is that six months is the earliest for recovery. Whenever he gets back, it will be important to keep expectations low. He could make a contribution, but the odds of his returning to 2012 form this season is not something to bank on. Maybe he defies the odds, but I don't think it makes sense to boost expectations to unreasonable levels....even if that's what we do as fans!