San Francisco 49ers running back Kendall Hunter’s recovery is ahead of schedule and is scheduled to be back for the start of training camp, according to a source telling Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle.
During the 2012-13 regular season, Hunter, 24, tore his Achilles in a play against the New Orleans Saints about four months ago on November 25, 2012. He has been working back from his injury by splitting his time between Santa Clara and Texas this offseason and has made great progress thus far. Hunter rushed for 371 yards last season.
With Frank Gore entrenched as the starter, Hunter will compete with second-year back LaMichael James for carries. After Hunter went down last season, James saw a huge bump up in his usage and became a large part of the team’s offense. Working well in tandem with quarterback Colin Kaepernick late last season, James may have an upper hand over the returning Hunter.
Depending on how Hunter’s recovery goes, the 49ers may be more or less inclined to select a running back with one of their many picks in this year’s NFL Draft. While they’re currently deep at the position, the 49ers may be interested in drafting a running back in the mid-to-late rounds who possesses great upside and could be a player they take time to develop over the next season or two.
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