Michael Crabtree could recover from his torn Achilles' tendon in only six to nine months.

49ers notes: Harbaugh encouraged about Crabtree rehab

Published: Tuesday, Jul. 23, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jul. 23, 2013 - 9:27 am

SANTA CLARA – Jim Harbaugh on Monday said team doctors told him that Michael Crabtree's surgically repaired right Achilles' tendon "looks great" and that the 49ers' top receiver remains on track to return at some point this season.

Crabtree tore the tendon in a May 21 workout and had surgery the next day. Harbaugh said the 49ers will place Crabtree on the physically unable to perform list, which will give San Francisco the option of activating him during the season.

"Wouldn't categorize it as 'ahead of schedule' because he's just starting to move on it," Harbaugh said. "It's just been healing so far. But it looks great. And that's in the words of the doctors, so, again, optimistic there."

With Crabtree out at least through the middle of November, wide receiver will be the 49ers' biggest competition at training camp. Veteran Anquan Boldin will start at one spot. The other spot is up for grabs among a group of inexperienced players. Harbaugh said A.J. Jenkins, Ricardo Lockette, Quinton Patton and Sacramento native Marlon Moore (Natomas High School) top the list of candidates.

It's also likely that there will be a committee approach to the No. 2 spot, which was the case at the beginning of last year.

"I really feel like they're making a lot of progress," Harbaugh said of that group. "I feel good about where that stands right now."

Meanwhile, wide receivers Kyle Williams (ACL) and Mario Manningham (ACL) will begin training camp on the PUP list. Harbaugh declined to discuss their progress, though Williams seemed poised during the June minicamp to return to practice.

"I don't get into commenting about the area that is the doctors' and trainers' speciality," he said.

Harbaugh noted that Crabtree, a Dallas resident, has remained in the area rehabilitating since his injury.

Kap's cap – Harbaugh said he had no issue with starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick wearing a Miami Dolphins hat, which caused a furor among fans online and the media earlier this month.

"I know Kap, and I know his allegiances, where they lie," Harbaugh said. "They lie with us. I chalk that up to a slow time in the media cycle."

Kaepernick, who appeared naked on the cover of ESPN Magazine's "Body Issue" this month, is one of the four quarterbacks getting a head start on training camp early this week. He was observed working out Monday – fully clothed and without a Dolphins cap on his head.

The 49ers' rookies and selected veterans reported to camp Friday; the rest of the team arrives Wednesday. The team's first practice is Thursday.

Read Matthew Barrows' blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers and listen for his reports Tuesdays on ESPN Radio 1320. Follow him on Twitter @mattbarrows.

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