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NaVorro Bowman to Return 'Later Rather Than Sooner'

Posted Oct 7, 2014

Although he's eligible to return to the field after Week 6, the San Francisco 49ers expect their All-Pro linebacker to be sidelined for additional games.


Although NaVorro Bowman is eligible to return to the field following the team’s Week 6 contest against the St. Louis Rams, the San Francisco 49ers expect their All-Pro linebacker to be sidelined for additional games.

“I think at some point he’ll eventually play. But right now, it’s still later rather than sooner,” defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said Tuesday on KNBR. “His procedure was done in February. It’s not like he got hurt in the middle of the season last year.”

Once he’s healthy enough to practice, Bowman will require more time to get up to speed and ready for game action.

“He’s going to need a couple weeks to get his legs under him and feel comfortable playing on his leg,” Fangio said.

Bowman is coming off of left knee surgery after suffering ACL and MCL injuries during the NFC Championship game in January. The 26-year-old is currently on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform List. The 49ers can activate him any time during a six-week window beginning Oct. 14.

“He’s doing well, he’s had no roadblocks in his rehab and everything has gone smooth,” Fangio said. “He’s ahead of where he should be, and we’re looking forward to his return at some point.”

While Bowman continues his long road back, San Francisco’s other absent linebacker, Aldon Smith, appears to be moving full-speed ahead toward a potential Nov. 16 season debut against the New York Giants in Week 11.

Smith is serving a nine-game suspension, but he likely will be ready to play immediately once he is eligible.

“He told me last week. I asked how he was doing with his conditioning and fitness and he said, ‘I’m the most fit guy in this building,’” Fangio said. “So he seems to be doing well along those lines, and we’re looking forward to his return down the line.”

With Bowman and Smith out, linebackers Michael Wilhoite and Dan Skuta have performed admirably as replacements. Through four games, the two have combined for 32 tackles and two forced fumbles.



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