Though it’s small consolation after losing wide receiver Michael Crabtree to the same injury, the 49ers at least have a template to follow in recovery from Achilles surgery.
And in the case of running back Kendall Hunter, the news is good.
Hunter told Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com that his leg feels strong, and that he had no doubt he’d be ready for the start of training camp in late July.
“Absolutely,” Hunter said. “I feel like I can do anything and everything. It’s whatever the trainers and the coaches want.”
Hunter tore his left Achilles on Nov. 25 against the Saints. The start of camp will mark the eight-month mark in his recovery.
Crabtree tore his Achilles last week, and is expected to miss at least six months.
“They’re similar, but not going to compare the two injuries,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. “Both in Kendall’s and Michael’s cases, the doctor was very confident and felt very good about the operations. Kendall’s on track.”
Hunter said he hasn’t talked to Crabtree, but encouraged his teammate to take the rehab slowly, and not try to push beyond what the trainers want him to do.
“Everybody’s different, just mentally and also your leg,” Hunter said. “You have to listen to the trainers because you don’t want to push it too fast. You have to abide by their rules.”
While he can’t make up for Crabtree’s absence from the passing attack, putting Hunter back into the mix will only strengthen a 49ers running game that needs to be even better next year.