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Darius Fleming Tears ACL, According To Report

And just like that, the injury bug hits. A year after the 49ers made their way through the season with few major injury issues, the 2012 offseason took an early hit. Fifth round pick OLB Darius Fleming suffered a torn ACL last week and is out indefinitely (thanks to manraj for the FanShot). Initially, Fleming was reported to have suffered a hamstring injury on Friday. Whether that injury proved to be the ACL tear or not is really besides the point now.

Fleming will likely undergo surgery to repair the ACL and begin rehabbing the injury. He could conceivably still get back at some point in 2012, depending on how the recovery goes. As Maiocco pointed out in the first link above, the team had a similar instance where Jeremy Newberry suffered an ACL tear in the offseason, started the season on the PUP list, and eventually returned to the roster, albeit on the inactive list the remainder of the season.

The team will likely place Fleming on the PUP list to open training camp, and then decide as the season progresses, whether or not to place him on injured reserve. They will have to make their final decision in the middle of the season, so this will not be fully resolved for several months.

In the meantime, while nobody ever wants to benefit from an injury, Cam Johnson and Kourtnei Brown are the initial beneficiaries of this injury. They will receive more reps and there is one less person competing for a roster spot to start the season.