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49ers OL Almost Ready
August 27 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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On Monday, offensive linemen Jeremy Newberry and Ron Stone both returned to practice. The two injured players have forced the 49ers to play without their starting offensive line for over a month. It was certainly a great site to see them both participating in offensive drills.

Newberry has recovered quite well from his injury. He was ready to return last game, but an injury to his finger on his right hand complicated issues. When he returns to the field action, Newberry will be snapping with his left hand, and the 49ers would like him to snap the ball 500 times to Garcia before that actually happens.

Ron Stone has been working back from his elbow injury for quite some time. The 49ers are still uncertain as to whether he will be ready to go for tomorrow’s game, or whether he will need more time. That decision will likely be made based on how well Stone feels after each practice.

Regardless of the player’s health, the 49ers may still opt to hold them out of tomorrow’s final pre-season game. The team is banged up and can’t afford to lose either of these two men again.

If anything positive did arise from the injury to Stone was that rookie Eric Heitmann received lots of extra work with the starting team. The team really feels strongly that Heitmann can be a solid NFL player, and backup, his extra experience this off-season will certainly help matters.

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