Crabtree returns to practice field

August 6, 2012, 5:36 pm
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SANTA CLARA -- Receiver Michael Crabtree returned to the practice field Monday morning, four days before the 49ers' first game of the exhibition season.Crabtree, who did not play in an exhibition game in his first three NFL seasons, has been out since sustaining a right lower leg injury near the end of the 49ers' first practice on July 27. He missed seven full practices.For the first time since the injury, Crabtree appeared on the practice field for stretching with his uniform and shoulder pads. It was unclear whether he would go through a full practice. The 49ers are scheduled to practice until 1 p.m.Crabtree began the session working on a side field with Mark Uyeyama, the 49ers head strength and conditioning coach. For the first time since he sustained the injury, Crabtree is wearing football pants and has pads with him on the practice field.
Last summer, Crabtree underwent surgery on his left foot to repair a fracture just prior to the opening of training camp. He missed all of the exhibition season but appeared in the regular-season opener. Crabtree then sat out Week 2 due to the injury but played every game the remainder of the season. Crabtree still led the 49ers in the regular season with 72 catches for 874 yards.He sat out all of camp as a rookie in a contract stalemate. In his second season, Crabtree sustained a neck injury early in camp and did not play any exhibition games. He played all 16 games that season.Rookie Jason Slowey was not suited up Monday for the second practice in a row. Tight end Nate Byham, who missed two practices, was on the field in pads.

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