The San Francisco 49ers received some positive news on Wednesday in regards to LaMichael James as he is expected to return by the regular season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 7, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com.
James dislocated his left elbow in blitz pick-up drills in practice this past Sunday. It is an injury that the 24-year-old has dealt with before as he it happened in a game against CaL in 2011 while at Oregon. Head coach Jim Harbaugh is confident that his tail back will be ready in time for the start of the season.
“(We) don’t have a timetable on it,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. “Trainers are predicting, and LaMichael has a shorter amount of time predicted. He’s had the injury before, so we’ll see. I’m hopeful and go with LaMichael’s estimation.”
The 49ers will likely need James to play in a larger role for the team this upcoming season behind Frank Gore in the run game given that backup running back Kendall Hunter suffered a season-ending ACL tear last week along with Marcus Lattimore still on the non-football injury list. The team also would not like to rush to put second-round selection Carlos Hyde into a significant role from the get-go.
Last season, the 49ers used James primarily on special teams as a punt returner and on kickoffs. When he returns, James will wear a brace on his left elbow as he did after he suffered the right elbow injury in 2011.
Photo Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Bob Garcia IV
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