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LaMichael James Expects To Play Thursday

49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh chatted with the media at lunchtime, and his press conference was followed by player availability in the locker room. According to Eric Branch, LaMichael James said he would play this Thursday in the 49ers preseason finale against the Chargers.

James sat out Sunday's game against the Broncos with an ankle injury. He sprained his ankle the week before against the Texans, and while he did return to practice last week, the team held him out against the Broncos. Whether he plays or not on Thursday, this is a great sign that he will be good to go for the start of the season in twelve days.

We still don't really know the 49ers plans when it comes to LaMichael James. Kendall Hunter has emerged as the number two back, but the there are a variety of ways they can work James into the rotation. Brandon Jacobs will likely be handling a sizable chunk of the heavy short yardage work, while James will be available as quite the change of pace option. The 49ers have kept their cards close to their chest, which has me rather excited to see what they have in mind with the former Oregon Duck.