Several current members of the San Francisco 49ers were on hand for Thursday’s introductory press conference, and they each took some time to chat with the media. NaVorro Bowman was among them, and naturally the conversation eventually turned to his Achilles rehab.
Bowman tore his Achilles in Week 4 against the Dallas Cowboys, immediately ending his season. It was the second notable lower left leg injury he has suffered in the past four years. In January 2014, he tore up his knee in the NFC title game, including tears of his ACL and MCL. He missed the entire 2014 season due to that injury, but appeared to be back to form by the end of 2015. Things were off to a strong start in 2016, only to see it end prematurely.
The 49ers begin their offseason workout program in early April, but his status for that remains uncertain. More than likely he will spend most if not all of it working with the rehab staff, but it sounds like he is making solid progress. In video of him walking around over the past couple months, he has seemed to be doing so without a limp. He has not been cleared for full football activities, but he talked about his optimism on Thursday.
“I’m working, every single day, doing everything that the trainers are asking me to do. There’s no timetable set when I’ll be cleared to do every single thing. But the sky’s looking bright for me. I feel great. And the Achilles is definitely improving every single day and giving me confidence knowing that I will be back.”
Bowman believes this rehab is not as rough as his ACL was. When asked how it compared, he said:
“It doesn’t. It’s much more easier to deal with. Not spending those long, long hours warming up, trying to get my workout in. It’s definitely more easier to deal with than my knee. Like I said, I can definitely see a positive light at the end of the tunnel.”
He has another seven or so weeks before the offseason workout program begins. Training camp is still over five months away. We’ll hear more from him and the coaching staff when April rolls around. In the meantime, he’ll keep plugging away.