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Marcus Lattimore Waits His Turn

Posted May 11, 2013

The 49ers will use the next three months to decide if Lattimore will have a gameday role with in 2013.

Marcus Lattimore has played in a number of states as a running back for South Carolina, but Thursday’s visit to 49ers headquarters in Santa Clara was his first trip to California. The much talked about prospect hopes his return to the football field will also be worth the wait.

Lattimore attended rookie minicamp like the other newcomers of San Francisco’s 2013 rookie class, but the 6-foot, 232-pound running back won’t be taking part in any on-field work.

The South Carolina product is coming off his second major knee injury. In late October, Lattimore dislocated his right knee and tore three ligaments in the process.

Even so, the 49ers saw great potential and drafted Lattimore with the No. 131 overall pick in the 2013 draft.

San Francisco’s medical staff did another evaluation of Lattimore’s injured knee when he arrived in the Bay Area for rookie camp. By all accounts, the team felt comfortable with the progress the star running back has made in his rehabilitation.

“The ACL looks really good for Marcus,” Jim Harbaugh said. “And we’re going to have to take a step back in terms of some of the cutting because we want that inside of the knee, the lateral side of the knee to heal fully. But, we’re good. We’ve talked. And our trainers are excited.”

There’s good reason to be fired up. Lattimore was once considered to be a first-round talent. He scored a South Carolina record 38 rushing touchdowns and totaled 2,677 rushing yards in the SEC.

Lattimore is known to be a competitive player and a supreme talent. However, he knows he’ll have to be patient when it comes to starting his NFL career.

Harbaugh told him that when they met Thursday night. The 49ers coach had a simple message for Lattimore to focus on this offseason.

“Work hard and I’ll get my opportunity when the time comes,” Lattimore shared of the conversation. “The main thing he stressed to me was just take your time and make sure everything’s OK before you go out there.”

“I took it fine,” Lattimore said. “I really understand why he said it he wants me to be ready when I get back on the field.

“I’m really going with the flow.”

The 49ers will use the next three months to decide if Lattimore will have a gameday role with in 2013. At the moment, there’s no rush to make a determination on his regular season availability at the start of rookie camp.

“I don’t think it’s necessary to go through those hypotheticals yet,” Harbaugh said. “We’re very early in the process. As we’ve said, we’ve talked to the doctors. We’ve got the gold standard of MRIs and evaluation on all of our players. So, I think you just take it step by step and no need to delve into those hypotheticals right now.”

If Lattimore doesn’t have an active gameday role in 2013, he’ll be focused on helping his teammates in any way possible.

“I just feel like whatever comes my way I’ll be fine with it,” he said.

Lattimore has a clear-cut visiton for 2013, he wants to learn from the talented group of running backs on San Francisco’s roster and continue his personal development whether he’s on the field or not.

“Help this team in any way I can to win the Super Bowl,” Lattimore said of his top priority for 2013. “Of course I want to play, but if it’s not playing this year, I want to help my team in any way I can and definitely get on the field one day and prove myself.”

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