June 5 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
The 49ers got some good news and bad news regarding the medical conditions of their players this week. I’ll start with the bad news, which really doesn’t seem that bad at all. Truth of the matter is, if the 49ers can escape significant injury in this final mini-camp the team will be remarkably good shape heading into training camp.
Starting cornerback Jason Webster remains sidelines with his minor leg injury. Webster is being given plenty of time to recover to prevent a re-occurrence. Rookie Mike Rumph has assumed the starting position in practice.
Offensive lineman Milford Stephenson appeared to injure his back on the first day of this latest mini-camp.
And now the news gets better. Starting with Jamie Winborn who as back on the field playing linebacker, and showing no ill effects of the knee injury that sidelined him.
The team also has seen progress in rookie Josh Shaw’s rehabilitations, but will continue to not rush his return.
Finally safety John Keith is expected to be back participating in contact drills by training camp. Keith has been running hard, and cutting with no problems to his ACL. A month from now, Keith - who at one point this off-season was put on the 49ers expansion draft list, finally looks ready to contribute to the 49ers.
Since Jerry Rice rushed back from his first knee injury, the 49ers have been extremely conservative with letting players take time to recover. It’s proven beneficial in preventing injury re-occurrences and likely will reaming a fixture in the 49ers organization, particularly in the off-season when there is plenty of time to recover.