Harbaugh on Aldon Smith: 'He's changing, he's maturing'
Aldon Smith has 33.5 sacks in his first two seasons, the most for any player since the NFL began keeping sack statistics in 1982. (AP)
PHOENIX -- Outside linebacker Aldon Smith is expected to be recovered in time to participate in the beginning of training camp, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said.
Smith, who was named winner of the Bill Walsh Award for the team's MVP with a 49ers record 19.5 sacks, underwent recent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder.
"The labrum usually takes some months to heal," said Harbaugh, adding that he expects Smith to be ready for the opening of training camp in late-July.
Smith appeared on the 49ers' injury report with a left shoulder injury for the Week 12 game against the New Orleans Saints and every game the remainder of the season, including the playoffs and Super Bowl.
Smith recorded 4.5 sacks in the next three games after appearing on the injury report. He did not have any sacks in the final three regular-season games, a period of time that coincided with Justin Smith's absence with a partially torn triceps.
In late-February, Smith was working out with UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and showed signs of a shoulder injury. Initially, doctors believed surgery would not be required. And Harbaugh said he did not believe the injury was a result of his offseason training.
"It wasn't during MMA training," Harbaugh said.
Even after the surgery, Harbaugh said he sees a physical change in Smith, 23, that should bode well for his future.
"I ran into him the other day," Harbaugh said. "This is just an observation, but he's changing. He's maturing. You can see it in his face and his body. He's kind of going from that lad -- kind of a strong, very mature lad -- to a grown man. I think that's another good thing."
Smith has 33.5 sacks in his first two seasons, the most for any player since the NFL began keeping sack statistics in 1982.