Marcus Lattimore, the 49ers rookie running back who suffered a severe knee injury during the 2012 season at South Carolina, says he thinks he’ll be well enough to start practicing by the middle of the regular season.
Lattimore said on NFL Network that he feels good about what he was able to do during the 49ers’ Organized Team Activities, but he expects to be sidelined during training camp and start the regular season on the Physically Unable to Perform list.
“I did a lot this offseason,” Lattimore said. “I’ve been running sprints, got a chance to get in there with the guys a little bit — that felt good. I probably won’t do training camp. And I’m on course with the trainer and the doctor to get a chance to practice mid-season and see what happens.”
If Lattimore can return at mid-season, that would put his recovery time at around one year: He suffered the knee injury at South Carolina on October 27. Considering how serious his injury was, that actually sounds awfully optimistic, and it’s still entirely possible that Lattimore won’t play at all as a rookie. If Lattimore can play at all in 2013, that would be an unexpected bonus for the 49ers’ fourth-round pick.