Rehabilitations 2001 --06/14/01
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Every off-season the 49ers have a slew of injured players rehabbing and battling back from injury. Garrison Hearst is one such player who has been battling back from a series of surgeries for the past several seasons. The 49ers were very proud to see Hearst take the field again this past week, and although Hearst was a little raw, the team remains cautiously optimistic that he will one day return to form. At running back, Hearst did excel with the 49ers, and the team would love to see him return to the end-zone sometime very soon. Hearst has had successive practice days, without complaint and without favoring his injured leg. These are huge steps for the player, who many believed would never take the field again. Should Hearst return to the field, he will give Bryant Young a run for the Len Eshmont award, an award Bryant Young has won every season since suffering from a double broken leg in 1997.

Jr. Bryant doesn't appear to be as lucky as Hearst is. Bryant incurred a neck injury early last season, and coaches are still afraid to let him practice. MRI's have shown that a bulging disc in his neck has yet to recede to a 'safe' point. Bryant himself feels great, but worries that if he feels this good, and still isn't permitted by doctors to play, he may never take the field again.

Meanwhile safeties John Keith and Lance Schulters have both been cleared to play with the club again. The two are projected starters at the safety positions, and bring some real talent to a young defensive backfield. The two would like to be in full form by the time training camp come around.

Receiver Tai Streets, who joined the team as a late 2000 draft, pick battle back last off-season to recover from an Achilles injury. He did so successfully, making an impact on the team last season, before suffering a broken leg. Steets has also begun to practice again. He has had a titanium rod implanted in his leg, in the same manor that Bryant Young had, and is reportedly not bothered by it. The team would like to see Streets become a valuable third receiver.

The 49ers seem to be shaping up in terms of their injured players. There rehabilitation methods seem to be effective in bringing players back who the team hopes can contribute this season. Unfortunately, rookie linebacker Alex Lincoln doesn't seem as lucky. Lincoln has complained of numbness in his body at times and the team has yet to figure out what the cause is. As fans of the game, we all wish the recovering players the best in there rehabilitations.

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