Manningham Not Expecting to Play vs. Titans

Mario Manningham is taking a careful approach in his return to the 49ers.

The sixth-year veteran wide receiver joined his teammates for a Tuesday walk-through, but doesn't expect to be a full practice participant this week.

Manningham, who suffered torn knee ligaments in Week 16 of the 2012 season, doesn't plan on rushing back into a game. The 49ers visit the Tennessee Titans this Sunday.

"Just taking it day-by-day, seeing how it goes," Manningham said at his locker.

The 49ers wideout doesn't have an exact timetable for his return either. The 49ers have a bye week after a Week 8 road game in London against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Manningham wouldn't say if he's eyeing a Week 10 home contest against the Carolina Panthers as his possible return game.

"I'm not sure, because I don't how I'm going to feel," he said. "If I feel good I might play. I'm not putting a time limit on there, just taking it serious day-by-day."

For now, Manningham said he would only participate in a couple periods of Wednesday's practice and see how his left knee responds.

"I'm just doing what I've got to do to get back to 100 (percent)," said Manningham, San Francisco's second-leading receiver last season with 42 catches for 449 receiving yards.

Manningham has been able to run routes, cut on his injured knee and catch passes during his rehab process, but he's just now starting to put it all together. The cautious mindset is crucial for a player who is coming off his first major injury of his football career.

Manningham said he's learned plenty of lessons from his time away from the 49ers.

"Be patient – come back stronger," he said. "Every day you wake up, you have to think you're going to come back stronger than you left."

Manningham will look to build his confidence as he works back into San Francisco's plans. The team will have a 21-day window to activate him on to the 53-man roster off the team's Physically Unable to Perform list.

When asked if Manningham would come back and practice right away, the veteran receiver looked at the reporter and replied, "I just got cleared yesterday, man! I can't do a whole practice. I'm going to ease my way into it."

Manningham has built confidence in his approach to the game during his time away. The 6-foot, 185-pound wideout with 202 career catches and 2,764 receiving yards, has learned a lot from his time away.

"Trying to stay right upstairs," Manningham said. "You can get caught up by not playing. I'm just trying to keep my attitude positive, that's it really.

"It's hard to be in meeting when you're not involved with it, but I'm trying to get back in synch with everything."

Manningham did not enjoy walking around on crutches during San Francisco's postseason run last season. The former Super Bowl hero of the New York Giants is eager to show what he's learned during his time away rehabbing his knee.

"I learned how to break the huddle with a sense of urgency, hurry up and get to the line and look at the DBs, just try to get the edge on a defender when I come back," Manningham said. "I know when I get out there I'm not going to be thinking about my knee. It's stronger than my other one."

Whenever Manningham returns to the field full-time, he knows it'll be because his body is ready to perform.

"I'm getting confident," Manningham said. "By the time I step out there on Sunday, I'll be 100."

But does he know which Sunday?

"Nope. Just know it'll be Sunday, I don't know when."


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