Linebacker Manny Lawson completed a full practice on Friday and expects to play on Sunday, after missing the last two weeks with a hamstring injury that occurred in the Saints game.
"It's been really frustrating. I really wanted to play the last few weeks," said Lawson." I love playing the game and love playing with these guys. Seeing how hard they work throughout the week and on game day, you want to be out there working with them and helping to get the defense playing the way we all believe we are capable of playing out there."
The hamstring pull was the same left leg that he had surgically repaired after tearing his ACL in week three of 2007, but Lawson said it was unrelated to his prior knee injury.
"The knee hasn't been an issue whatsoever," said Lawson. "I bent it up pretty good during the San Diego game in the preseason, which was a good test for it and let me know I was back from it."
But missing another two games after sitting out 14 of them last year, has definitely compounded his frustration.
"It's rather tough, missing last year, missing games this year, I'm just trying to focus on being healthy but not worrying about watching out or trying to protect myself. On Wednesday coming out I was iffy about it and thinking about it a lot, and that's not where you need to be. That's when your game and your playmaking abilities decrease. As the week goes on, I got the confidence in it and now I'm just looking to go out and play the game."
Lawson doesn't recall all of the specifics of last year's game against New York, but he does remember pacing around his living room and desperately wishing he could help out his team in the lopsided defeat.
Now that he's back healthy, he could see his most extensive playing time on defense of the season. Early in the year, the 49ers played more of a big sub package, which used an extra DB instead of a LB. In recent weeks, the 49ers defense has used more of its base defense.
"I'd like to be out there every play, but whenever my name is called and wherever they need me, I'm willing to do that," said Lawson. "I just really want to play. I'm very much looking for a break out game and just finishing out the season strong."
S Mark Roman and CB Donald Strickland also took a full practice on Friday and are listed as probable on the injury report. T Jonas Jennings has been ruled out.
TE Vernon Davis will serve as the captain for the offense this Sunday. CB Nate Clements will serve as the team's defensive captain. CB Donald Strickland will serve as the special teams captain.