The Recoveries - 05/24/99
logo.jpg (11350 bytes)

Many people look at the 49ers last season and wonder. Wonder if maybe Hearst hadn't broken his ankle on the first series against Atlanta in the playoffs. Wonder what the result could have been if Ken Norton Jr. never accidentally slammed his helmet into the leg of Bryant Young injuring him indefinitely. Wonder what would have happened had Merton Hanks been healthy all season, or Dave Fiore for that matter. Too many ifs, and too many buts. The 49ers were hurting by the end of last season, and quite frankly it was nice they didn't complain about it. It will be even nicer to see these guys return next season to boost the team to that upper echelon.

Garrison Hearst is recovering nicely from his ankle injury. He has been rehabilitating all of the off-season and the 49ers expect that he will be back for the season opener; however he may not start right away, and there is little to no chance of him participating in the pre-season games. Hearst adds a dimension to the 49ers offence that many believe surpasses that of even Roger Craig.

Bryant Young was and hopefully still is the best defensive tackle in the league. When he went down last season, the hearts of every single NFL fan and player were with him. Young has also been rehabbing all of the off-season, he however was injured extremely severely and is not expected to return until mid-season. Young is the glue that holds our defence together, the sooner he can come back with out risk, the better.

Merton Hanks had a lingering injury all of last season that hampered his play. He eventually did manage to take it to the next level, but it was too little to late, the problems in the secondary were beyond repair. Now that Hanks has had some time to rest, and now that he promised Bill Walsh to return to Pro Bowl form to avoid be released, I think we can expect to see some more chicken dancing then last season.

Dave Fiore is fully recovered, and the 49ers need him to stay healthy. Fiore was incredible on the line last season, and the 9ers can't afford to see him go down. He was a key contributor to giving Steve Young the time to throw for those 400 yards passing games at the beginning of the season.

The only other notable injury for the 49ers now is Tai Streets, this years draft pick. Streets tore his Achilles tendon playing basketball just before the draft. He was originally supposed to be a top round pick, but dropped to the 6th where the 49ers jumped for the chance to get him. He is a typical 49ers wide out, big, strong, deceiving speed and can make the tough catch. Streets may be back mid-season, but if the 9ers re-sing Terrell Owens, which they really want to do, Streets will likely be held out until the 2000 season.

It's nice to see that the 49ers are getting back in shape for next season. Hopefully they will manage to get and stay healthy. Once these players return, they should add a much needed spark to the 49ers!
fball.jpg (6395 bytes)fball.jpg (6395 bytes)