Lattimore expects to begin practicing next week

Three and Out: No comparing, Reid adjusting, Williams out

Lattimore expects to begin practicing next week
November 14, 2013, 1:15 pm
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The 49ers selected Marcus Lattimore in the fourth round of the 2013 draft despite the knowledge that he had suffered an ACL injury. (AP)

SANTA CLARA – Rookie running back Marcus Lattimore expects to make his debut on the 49ers practice field next week.

But he’ll still have to wait until 2014 for his first NFL game action.

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The former South Carolina star has been running four days a week as part of his rehab from the grisly knee injury he sustained Oct. 27, 2012, while playing against Tennessee.

He takes part in speed workouts on Mondays and Fridays, and he does tempo running on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Just like wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who is returning to practice after Achilles surgery in May and took a day off Wednesday, there are days off built into his rehab schedule.

“I’ve been doing all that for a while,” Lattimore said on Thursday. “Everything feels good. I should be out there. We’ll see what happens.”

Lattimore remains on the reserve/non-football injury list. And Tuesday is the final day he can be cleared to join practices or he will immediately go on injured reserve and will not be able to join practices until next season.

He said nobody on the coaching staff has told him he will be cleared to practice but he added, “I’m pretty sure I am.” Lattimore would be allowed to practice for three weeks before likely going on the injured reserve list for the remainder of the season.

Practicing for three weeks is something Lattimore said is important to him.

“Just to get a feel of it and how everything’s going to be,” Lattimore said. “It’s different. You can learn it all you want until you go out there and do it. It’s really nothing you can really grasp.

“It’ll be important to have my mind ready for the next year. (I’m) just real excited about it.”

Lattimore sustained tears to his anterior cruciate, lateral collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments in his right knee nearly 13 months ago. The 49ers selected Lattimore in the fourth round of the draft. While taking the cautious approach with his rehab, Lattimore has been sitting in on running back coach Tom Rathman's meetings.

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“I’ve learned more in these four months than I’ve ever learned, as far as how the defense plays, how to read fronts, how to read linebackers, coverage,” Lattimore said. “I’ve learned so much about the game in these four months than I learned in 18 years. It’s been big.

“Coach Rathman is big on technique, discipline, just doing everything right. That’s the only way you’re going to beat good teams, with technique.”

Lattimore said he has also learned a lot from watching Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. Gore, a nine-year pro, is considered one of the most intelligent and well-rounded running backs of the past decade.

“He puts everything to use Coach Rathman shows him,” Lattimore said. “I’m excited to try that.”