49ers notes: Crabtree faces more questions about his health

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 2C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 - 4:39 pm

SANTA CLARA – Speaking to reporters for the first time since the end of the 2011 playoffs, Michael Crabtree on Tuesday said he was running well and without pain. But the 49ers wide receiver didn't seem to understand all the questions about his calf and the time he has missed lately.

Asked if he was frustrated by yet another training camp "cut short," Crabtree turned into the questioner.

"How short was it cut this year?" he said. "A week? I'm sure a lot of guys go through that, right? Does everybody go every day of camp? I'm here, man. I'm not missing a beat."

Crabtree had his most extensive practice since injuring his right calf on the first day of training camp July 27. He was worked into 11-on-11 situations and caught a nice pass on a crossing route from quarterback Alex Smith.

He said he thought he'd be able to play Friday against Minnesota in what would be his first-ever NFL exhibition game.

"Yeah, I should," Crabtree said. "I don't think the (starters) are going (to play) that much Friday. Whatever time they give me, I'll just go out there."

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman was less revealing when asked about Crabtree's availability. "Not going to comment on that," he said. "Talk to coach (Jim Harbaugh). He'll probably say the same thing. (Crabtree's) working through something, and we'll have to wait and see and evaluate it. It'll probably be a last-minute decision."

Crabtree wasn't combative with reporters. But he clearly didn't agree with the line of questioning that suggested his most recent injury was the latest in a string of offseasons in which he has been sidetracked.

The 10th overall draft pick in 2009 missed his rookie preseason in a contract dispute. He suffered a neck injury in 2010 that lingered throughout the exhibition season, and last year, he was rehabilitating from a broken foot.

There was a bit of levity when Crabtree was asked what happened to his calf. He said it locked up but that he doesn't "know too much about injuries."

"You'd think I'd know," he said, smiling. "It's always something in football. I'm sure everybody goes through stuff. It was just my calf, and I had to stay off of it. They didn't want anything serious to happen to it, you know?"

Asked if he was frustrated about always having to talk about injuries, Crabtree responded, "Frustrated? I'm just talking, man. I don't like how you use those words, frustrated. Nobody's frustrated. It's football.

"You see someone injured every day – that's news, you know what I'm saying? It's part of football. It's a physical game, and I just know how to deal with it. I've been here, you know? I know how to deal with it. I'm sure you guys know that when they say, hut, I'm going full speed. I'm not worried about that."

Et cetera – Two rookies, running back La-Michael James and center Jason Slowey, sat out Tuesday's practice.

• Rookie wide receiver A.J. Jenkins had perhaps his best practice of the summer. He made several catches at the end of the workout, including a leaping snag of a pass from Scott Tolzien.

• David Akers connected on a 64-yard field goal helped by an afternoon wind.

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