The 49ers are dealing with a multitude of injuries on both sides of the ball, but they could get one of their best players back on the field earlier than many thought possible.

Michael Crabtree SF 49ers pregameMichael Crabtree, who tore his Achilles tendon during OTAs in May, could return soon after their bye week.

“It’s been very, very good,” said Jim Harbaugh when asked about Crabtree’s status.

“Middle to late November is what we’re hoping for. But he seems to be on track for that.”

Crabtree, who I saw chatting on the field with Andre Johnson after last night’s game, has been a constant presence at the 49ers’ facility and not as a spectator.

“He’s starting to run. He’s running,” Harbaugh said. “I catch it now and then, sometimes when we’re practicing he’s doing his rehab work. Pretty much talk to him every day and things seem to be going well. Very positive, very upbeat and things seem to be going well.”

Crabtree had his best season in 2012, with his production really taking off once Colin Kaepernick took over as the team’s starting quarterback. In the 10 games Kaepernick started last season (including the playoffs), Crabtree had 58 receptions,  880 yards and eight touchdowns.