San Francisco 49ers

49ers’ Bowman expected to play first game since injury

NaVorro Bowman is expected to play in his first game since suffering a kne injury in January 2014.
NaVorro Bowman is expected to play in his first game since suffering a kne injury in January 2014. The Bee

SANTA CLARA -- NaVorro Bowman is set to see his first game action since suffering a multi-ligament knee injury on Jan. 19, 2004. Bowman sat out the team's preseason opener in Houston last week as a precaution but is not one of the 49ers ruled out for today's game against the Cowboys.

Instead, receiver Bruce Ellington, safety Jimmie Ward, defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey and linebacker Philip Wheeler are the only 49ers on the active roster that won't play. That means that other players held out last week -- like running back Reggie Bush, running back Kendall Hunter, tight end Vernon Davis, defensive end Darnell Dockett and linebacker Nick Bellore -- also will play.

Bowman has overcome every hurdle during the offseason as he returns from the left knee injury that occurred in the NFC championship game 19 months. This past week he began practicing without the bulky, plastic brace that he complained was slowing him down.

In the run-up to the Texans game, Bowman said he wasn't interested in merely a token appearance, and he was held out of the game. He admitted earlier this month he didn't feel he had fully returned from the injury but that he was on the right track.

“I have high expectations,” he said. “And when something doesn’t go right, it’s not an excuse for my knee, but it’s just what it is. I know what it is that causes me not to make that play or not get to that point. I just have to keep working.”

With Michael Wilhoite on the non-football injury list, Nick Moody is expected to start beside Bowman at inside linebacker.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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