The San Francisco 49ers suffered numerous injuries over the course of this season, and will hopefully be close to full strength when 2014 training camp rolls around. Head coach Jim Harbaugh met with the media Tuesday afternoon, and was pretty forthcoming about the status of quite a few injured players. During the season he is less inclined to talk about injuries, but with no opponents on the docket, there are fewer state secrets.
NaVorro Bowman: The 49ers linebacker has an ACL tear and the team will wait and see how his MCL heals before he undergoes ACL surgery. Coach Harbaugh said it would be at least a two or three week wait before ACL surgery.
Frank Gore: He suffered a broken right ring finger and will undergo surgery to repair it. Coach Harbaugh said he was not aware of the injury until after the game.
Mike Iupati: He will not need surgery on his fractured fibula. The leg will be casted up and he will recover accordingly. As we discussed yesterday, the expectation is he will be back to 100 percent within eight weeks.
Joe Staley: He suffered a compound fracture of his thumb, but played through the rest of the game with it after getting it patched up on the sideline. No word on if he just bandages it up and lets it heal, or if he needs stitches, or what, but he should be fine pretty quickly.
Chris Culliver: He has begun sprinting.
Ian Williams: He is walking around. I (Fooch) believe that he is out of his walking boot and moving on in his rehab.
Marcus Lattimore: Coach Harbaugh expects him to be full go in time for OTAs.
At this point, NaVorro Bowman is the only one from that group that is likely to be unavailable at the start of training camp. It is possible he could have a miraculous recovery and good to go when the regular season starts, but I just don't see it. Even if he puts in an Adrian Peterson-type recovery, his injury happened a month after Peterson's injury, so you have to tack that on. It's possible he starts the season on the PUP list, or he follows Rob Gronkowski's rehab and is simply inactive those first few weeks. Personally, I don't want him rushing back, but we'll see how it plays out as the offseason progresses.
One injury Coach Harbaugh did not address was Tarell Brown's rib issues late in the season. Brown spoke to CSN Bay Area Monday afternoon, and he said he suffered cracked ribs and cartilage damage against the Saints on November 17. Brown did not return home on the same flight as the team, instead getting his ribs looked at. He lost his starting job during that stretch, but regained it in the playoffs when Carlos Rogers strained his hamstring. He said he is getting more medical opinions to decide if he should get surgery.