After the NFC Championship Game, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said that guard Mike Iupati broke his ankle when he was forced out of the game in the first half.
Iupati did wind up with a break in his lower leg, but it turned out to be not quite as serious as a broken ankle. Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports that Iupati fractured his left fibula, an injury which will not require him to have surgery.
Iupati avoided ligament damage and is expected to be recovered in eight weeks, which would mean he’s ready to go in time for the start of the 49ers’ offseason program even if he doesn’t take part in all of it. A broken ankle would likely have kept Iupati out for an even longer period of time and made for a more difficult rehab process, so the revised diagnosis is a pretty good one for Iupati and the Niners.
Iupati is heading into the final year of his rookie contract in San Francisco and should be in line for a pretty nice extension (or contract elsewhere) after his first four years have established him as one of the league’s guards.