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Golden Nuggets: 49ers back to practice

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Friday, January 4, 2012 edition of the Golden Nuggets, a daily compilation of 49ers links from around the web.


Apologies for the delays on the Nuggets. We had some technical issues. The 49ers returned to practice on Thursday, and the two big stories were Justin Smith returning to practice, and the 49ers gearing up their kicking competition between David Akers and Billy Cundiff. Smith is practicing with a black plastic brace on his left arm, which he will likely be wearing through the playoffs, as long as they last. It provides some support and stability for his partially torn triceps muscle.

As for the kicking competition, it sounds like Billy Cundiff got off to a strong start. Practice is not a playoff game, but every chance to boost a kicker's confidence is huge. Given the sports hernia issues we're hearing about with regards to Akers, it seems unlikely that he will be kicking next weekend in the divisional round. Things could change, but I would be a bit surprised.

On to the links...

Where has the 49ers’ running game gone? (Bay Area Sports Guy)

Q&A: What is the long term impact of Justin Smith's injury? (Gin - Examiner)

49ers Notebook: K David Akers had offseason surgery for double hernia (Bonagura - CBS Sports)

The fantasy fool’s heroes and zeroes (

49ers’ Justin Smith back at practice (Branch)

Proving you can win for losing (Branch)

Vic Tafur’s wild-card round picks (

49ers’ Akers, Cundiff vie for spot (Branch)

Cundiff gets off to 'not bad' start in competition with Akers (Maiocco)

Cundiff transcript: ‘I’m just going to go out there and try to have the best practices I can’ (Inman)

Justin Smith Returns to Practice (

Press Pass: Billy Cundiff (

Justin Smith: 'I feel like I'll be ready' (Maiocco)

Q&A with kicking vagabond Billy Cundiff: ‘I spent Halloween in New England …’ (Branch)

Struggling Akers says he’s been battling complications from offseason surgery (Branch)

49ers Let Akers and Cundiff Compete (

Press Pass: David Akers (

Press Pass: Billy Cundiff (

Press Pass: Justin Smith (

Akers says roller coaster year involved sports hernia (Barrows)

Cundiff, Akers competition begins (Maiocco)

Coaches yet to draw interest, but Gamble hot GM candidate (Maiocco)

Akers reflects on disappointing season (Maiocco)

Justin Smith returns to practice with brace (Maiocco)

Alex Boone has a strange request for the San Francisco Zoo (Lynch)

Practice report: Justin Smith returns; kicking derby begins (Branch)

Justin Smith returns to practice; Akers off to poor start in kicking derby (Inman)

Saddle up: Justin Smith returns to practice (Barrows)

The Remix: 49ers vs. Cardinals (49ers)

Jed York Speaks with Wall Street Journal (

San Francisco 49ers finish third in Associated Press Pro32 Power Rankings (SJ Mercury News)

49ers' Colin Kaepernick carrying NFL draft chip on his shoulder (Inman)

Snap judgments: A look at 49ers playing time in 2012 (Barrows)

Niners' Crabtree Receiving Accolades (NBC Bay Area)

Revisiting 49ers' DL as Justin Smith returns (Sando - ESPN)

Lee named top punter; Zastudil, Ryan close (Sando - ESPN)

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