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SANTA CLARA – All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman reportedly sustained tears to the ACL and MCL in his left knee.
Bowman will require surgery to repair the ACL tear after the MCL is allowed some time to heal, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said.
His availability is in question for the start of the regular season. Cornerback Chris Culliver and running back Marcus Lattimore both placed a time frame on Bowman’s return at no earlier than nine months.
“It’s based on how you put the work in, pretty much,” said Culliver, who sustained his ACL tear early in training camp.
Culliver said he has been doing straight-ahead running and has started to add cutting as part of his rehab program.
“I’m going be there every step of the way and help him out with anything he needs or any concerns about this, that,” Culliver said of Bowman. “Anything he needs, I’ll be there because I’m going through it right now.”
Culliver said it's important for Bowman to exercise patience during his rehabilitation this offseason.
Lattimore sat out his rookie season after sustaining a gruesome knee injury in his final year at South Carolina.
“It’s a long process but I know he’ll get through it,” Lattimore said. “He’s a hard worker. I’ve seen him work.
“With an ACL, by the season time, it’ll be about nine months. He’ll be able to go out there a little bit. There’s no reason to rush the best linebacker in the NFL back. In 10, 11 months, he’ll be fine.”