The San Francisco 49ers welcomed linebacker Reuben Foster back to the offseason workout program last week, and on Wednesday, we got our first glimpses of him. Foster worked with the strength and conditioning team, and did individual drills. However, he did not take part in the team drills portion.
Foster missed the first two phases of the offseason workout program, and so the team is effectively putting him through a shortened version of that. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said Foster is in great shape, but they do not want to rush him back.
“He’s in great shape. He could have went today. He could have went the first day he was allowed back. But, just like all the other guys, they’ve had a due process of phase one, phase two, going through the different phases of the offseason. So, we’re just giving him a chance to get back into it. Don’t rush him. There’s no need. Hopefully we can get him back to practicing soon.”
Following practice, NFL Network reporter Jim Trotter discussed Foster’s return. During his absence, Foster had been working out at a gym in San Francisco. It sounds like the 49ers would have preferred he take on a personal trainer, and so the team is taking their time getting him back.
“They had expected that while he was out dealing with his legal issues, that he would spend time with a personal trainer, but that didn’t happen as much as they would have liked. So rather than bring him back and have him go full throttle and potentially suffer a soft-tissue injury, they’re going to bring him along slowly. I’m told at the very latest, we can expect him back on the field for minicamp in two weeks, but likely before then.”
The 49ers open minicamp on June 12th, which is 12 days from today.
Although not hiring a trainer would suggest some displeasure by the 49ers, Trotter made sure to circle back to the 49ers excitement about Foster.
“The one thing about Reuben at this point, when you talk to people around the building, they don’t hide their excitement. They believe that he is a player that when he’s in, this defense is different, has a different energy, different vibe. And they believe that when he combines his cerebral part with the athletic part, his game is only gonna go to a higher level.”