San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman is in the Bay Area this week, taking part in an autograph session in Concord. It appears various news media folks are on hand for the event, as we have some pictures, and comments from Bowman. The most notable thing is about his rehab progress following January's knee injury:
NaVorro Bowman said doctors told him he is ahead of schedule in his rehab and that the 49ers are "excited" by his progress.— Steve Corkran (@CorkOnTheNFL) April 2, 2014
#49ers @NBowman53 adds: "The doctors say I'm ahead of schedule but it's all in how I feel. I'm excited about that."— Mindi Bach (@MBachCSN) April 2, 2014
I don't think anybody should be surprised to hear Bowman saying he is ahead of schedule. I don't think that he is necessarily BS'ing anybody with this news, but as has been said many times before, a player is generally not going to say he is behind schedule in his recovery. If a player suffers a setback we might then hear something, but when rehab is progressing, optimism is the name of the game.
#49ers @ NBowman53 has no timeline for a return: "I'm just pleased with the progress, and I'm just going to keep working."— Mindi Bach (@MBachCSN) April 2, 2014
That being said, it's still a good thing to hear positive comments. Back in February we saw video of his progress courtesy of his girlfriend. The process continues as he works back to 100 percent, in a process that still has a ways to go. Even with the team "excited" about Bowman's progress, there is still a very significant likelihood that he starts the season on the PUP list. If that happens, he misses a minimum of six weeks. I still think PUP list happens, in part because there is zero reason to rush him back. Michael Wilhoite can be a capable replacement, and I think we see Patrick Willis step up in an even bigger way.
In the meantime, he continues his rehab, and we'll keep an eye out for more updates. Here are some pictures from today:
Great to see @NBowman53 back at the #49ers facility. Get well soon NaVorro. pic.twitter.com/sJsamoDSS2— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) April 1, 2014