Tuesday, October 7, 2014

49ers expect NaVorro Bowman back later rather than sooner

The 49ers have won two straight games to improve to 3-2, but it doesn’t look like they’ll have linebacker NaVorro Bowman back to help in the push for a playoff spot in the near future.

 Bowman is eligible to come off the Physically Unable to Perform list next week, but defensive coordinator Vic Fangio indicated the linebacker’s return from the torn ACL he suffered in the NFC Championship Game. Fangio said that Bowman hadn’t hit any “roadblocks” in his rehab, but he can only recover so quickly.

“Oh, I think at some point he will play,” Fangio said on KNBR, via Matt Burrows of the Sacramento Bee. “But right now it’s still later than sooner. His procedure was done in February. It’s not like he got hurt in the middle of the season last year.”

Michael Wilhoite has filled in well for Bowman, who can be activated at any point in a six-week window that opens on Monday. Bowman is one of two linebackers expected back with the 49ers defense later in the season. Aldon Smith’s suspension is up after nine games and Fangio said Smith is doing well with conditioning while barred from the team.

Smith sounds like he might be back before Bowman and a full return from both would make for a very imposing defense down the stretch in Santa Clara.

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