The 49ers won't see receiver Mario Manningham in the lineup until mid October at the earliest.
Jim Harbaugh today said that Manningham will remain on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list to start the season, which means he only can begin practicing with the team after Week 6. The soonest he can play in a game is Oct. 20 against the Titans in Nashville. Manningham is recovering from an ACL injury suffered in Seattle on Dec. 23.
"It's going very well," Harbaugh said of Manningham's recovery. " ... He's really feeling now that he can put his leg in the ground and generate some power. It's exciting, and he's excited about it."
Harbaugh said the team also was encouraged by Michael Crabtree's rehabilitation from a May 21 Achilles' heel injury. The 49ers expect Crabtree to return at some point this season. The earliest an athlete who suffered a full tear like Crabtree can be expected back on the field is about six months. That means he could be back as early as November, although the team is likely to ease the receiver back into action as cautiously as possible.
"He's hit every single goal as far as his timeline," Harbaugh said of Crabtree. "That's been real exciting and encouraging."
Like Manningham, Crabtree will begin the season on the PUP list. Players on PUP cannot practice or play for the first six weeks. After Week 6 and continuing through Week 11, there's a three-week window during which they can join practice. If the 49ers feel the player is healthy at that point, he can be moved to the active, 53-man roster.
- Matt Barrows