Jim Harbaugh went on with 95.7 The Game’s Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend today, and touched on Aldon Smith and Michael Crabtree. Smith is out of rehab. He also turned himself into Santa Clara County authorities last night and was released on $75,000 bail.
Along with a couple questions about the 49ers’ premier pass rusher (who faces court dates on Nov. 12 and 19 stemming from felony weapons charges and his DUI arrest, respectively), Harbaugh also talked about why he thinks Crabtree will be back on the field relatively soon.
“I met with him face to face today. Aldon was in the building. It was great to see the reaction of others who saw him and Aldon’s reaction of being back here and seeing some of the guys. He looks great and we’re having a good day. That was the object of today, let’s have a great day. I think that’s the way Aldon’s approaching things. Each day with a goal of going to have a great day.
When will he be back?
“I think the prudent thing to do is look at (Aldon’s status as) day-to-day, and have the goal of having a great day. He’s been taking that approach really over the last five weeks. And it’s served him well and it’s made quite a bit of progress. I don’t see any reason to change that and now flip a switch and start saying, ‘This needs to take place next week, and this the next week and how it’s going to be three or four, five, six weeks from now.’ Why would we do that when the other process is going so well?”
There’s no need for the 49ers to announce Smith’s return to the 53-man roster now, not with almost two weeks left until the team’s next game. But if the 49ers were willing to start Smith so soon after his alcohol-fueled car wreck just a couple days before he flew to a rehab facility, there doesn’t seem to be an obvious reason why they’d keep Smith off the field against Carolina and/or New Orleans unless the team is worried that he’s still struggling with his recovery.
“I’m just reflecting what the doctors have said all the way through, that the surgery was successful, that Michael’s been on track every point that they evaluated him. They’ve said all along six months was the medical standard. Terrell Suggs played five months and 28 days after his surgery from Achilles last year and Michael’s going to be right in the same area. That’s what’s being predicted by the doctors. Am I being optimistic? Knowing Michael and he’s a young guy, he’s training really hard and he heals well. I think that reflects what’s probably going to happen.”
Crabtree’s surgery took place on May 22. Five months and 28 days after that would be Nov. 19. The 49ers face the Saints in New Orleans on Nov. 17, and play at Washington on Nov. 25. If the 49ers choose to hold out Crabtree until the 49ers host Seattle on Dec. 8, that would put Crabtree on the field exactly six months and 16 days after going under the knife.