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Justin Smith needs surgery soon, but won’t retire

Justin Smith AP

The 49ers were fighting with one arm behind their back without defensive tackle Justin Smith, and he’s currently playing with about half an arm.

Smith said he has a tear of about 50 percent of his left triceps tendon, which will require surgery shortly after the season ends.

But he told Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com he still planned to return for next season.

I’m not going to retire after this year,” Smith said. “I would like to come back and try to get here [the Super Bowl] again. I realize my career is definitely winding down. I’m not saying I’m going to play another eight years or something like that. I want to play at a high level.”

Smith said he wanted to continue to play as long as he could play at a high level, though he does enjoy the teaching role he plays with some of the 49ers young linemen.

“I don’t want to just be a backup guy — a mentor-guy,” Smith said. “I want to help the guys as much as possible, show them all of the stuff I’ve learned from other guys.

“It’s all just passing the torch, everything you learn from the coaching staffs. I want to do that while I’m playing. These guys will be in good hands. I mean, that room is a good group of guys, good football players and a good football coach in [line coach] Jim Tomsula. Any time you’ve got a Ray McDonald in your room, you’ve got Issac [Sopoaga] in there, Ricky Jean [Francois] coming up, they are in good hands.”

They’re in better hands with Smith on the field, as his absence made Aldon Smith much less productive, and diminished the 49ers defense as a whole.

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11 Responses to “Justin Smith needs surgery soon, but won’t retire”
  1. cosanostra71 says: Jan 30, 2013 2:21 PM

    He is a really good player. One of the best defensive lineman in the NFL. Hope he can play for a few more years.

  2. stigman2012 says: Jan 30, 2013 2:21 PM

    Justin Smith…living proof of how inept Bengals defensive coordinators of the past have been.

  3. Ponder This says: Jan 30, 2013 2:25 PM

    Are you sure that isn’t Larry the Cable Guy?

  4. questforthesixthnotthelast2013 says: Jan 30, 2013 2:36 PM

    I dont see him gone for atleast two more go arounds, how could they? No i think he retires a niner as a 2 time champ! And kickstarts this org onto 10 consecutive super bowls. Hasnt been done since cleveland so i think its bout time for a team to do it again, wishful thinkin, but keep your draft ahead of you and you dont have to worry for a couple years anyway!

  5. lumjack32 says: Jan 30, 2013 2:36 PM

    When this guy’s career is over he belongs in the Hall of Fame. He may not cry and talk as much as Ray Lewis but he means just as much to his team.

    He also has old man strength and does not need antler oil for his torn triceps.

  6. vicnocal says: Jan 30, 2013 2:39 PM

    I don’t remember this guy being such a beast when he was with the Bengals. Did he just get better with age? Better scheme?

  7. woodsidegil says: Jan 30, 2013 2:51 PM

    Hopefully he decides to play at least another 3 years. He’s better than most other D linemen even though he’s playing with 1 1/2 arms.

  8. calicokiller49 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:12 PM

    Love this guy! One of the best 49ers of all time!

  9. realninerfan22 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:26 PM

    Justin smith is no hof stop it!! Very good player tho

  10. buttfumblesports says: Jan 30, 2013 6:13 PM

    realninerfan22 Justin Smith will go down as one of the best 3-4 lineman of all time. He will at some point be in the hall.

  11. macjacmccoy says: Mar 15, 2013 5:19 AM

    Hey buttfumble I agree he is really good and if he played the way hes played with the 49ers his entire career then he would be a hall of famer. But thats just not the case. He was barely above average with the Bengals. He was even considered by many to be a bust. Those years dont get removed when hes on the ballot. They will probably keep him off unless he can some how keeps up this level of production for at least another 4-5 years.

    The hall of fame is meant for the very best of the best. Guys who day in and day out were the cream of the crop for and extended period of time. Im sorry but Smith just doesnt fit that criteria . And because of that I agree with realninerfan22 he just isnt a Hall of Famer.

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