49ers center Eric Heitmann expected to miss season after neck surgery

49ers center Eric Heitmann is expected to miss the entire 2011 season after undergoing neck surgery recently according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com.  Heitmann started 114 games since getting drafted in 2002.

This would be the second straight missed season for Heitmann, who broke his leg last training camp and then struggled with neck pain. Heitmann underwent surgery for a ruptured disk four weeks ago.

Heitmann is under contract for 2011 and his doctor says he wants to play again once he’s healthy.  Heitmann faces roughly a six month recovery.

We mentioned previously the 49ers needed to find a starting center, and this news only increases that need.