49ers hoping Dre Greenlaw can return in 4-6 weeks

San Francisco 49ers v Detroit Lions
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49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw is having core muscle surgery. There were conflicting reports on the prognosis, and General Manager John Lynch said Thursday afternoon it’s too early to determine the timeline for Greenlaw’s return.

“As for the timeline, I think that’s best left until they get in there and see the extent,” Lynch said on KNBR, via 49erswebzone.com. “But I think [the 4-to-6-week estimate is] accurate in terms of initially what we know and think. But I think it’s always best to kind of wait on that. But we’ll see where that goes.”

Greenlaw has dealt with the injury for a couple of weeks, Lynch said, but aggravated it on his 39-yard pick-six of Jared Goff in the second quarter. Greenlaw did not return to the game.

“They got a couple of opinions on the groin,” Lynch said. “It’s a core muscle injury that Dre’s been dealing with here for the last couple of weeks, and he did a great job kind of battling through it. [He] had a big impact on the game against Detroit.

“It was actually on the pick-six that he kind of re-tweaked it, and at some point we scanned it, and this core muscle injury just continued to get worse. It got to the point where we felt the best interest for everyone was to go ahead and handle it now.”

Greenlaw, unlike two of his teammates, will return at some point this season. Running back Raheem Mostert (knee) and cornerback Jason Verrett (knee) are out for the season after injuries in the opener.

“It’s a loss, to say the least,” Lynch said of Greenlaw. “The good news is that all indications are we’ll have him back later this season. We look forward to that. We’ll have to hold the fort down until then.”

Azeez Al-Shaair will take over Greenlaw’s every-down role at weakside linebacker, with Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles stepping in at strongside linebacker.