Fifteen days after his knee was bent in the most gruesome of angles at the 49ers’ goal-line in Seattle, NaVorro Bowman had his torn ACL repaired.
NaVorro Bowman’s ACL surgery has concluded, per source. It went well.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) February 4, 2014
The 49ers said they’d wait about two or three weeks to see if his MCL could heal on its own, and apparently that’s the course of action they took. Bowman posted a photo before heading into surgery:
Has anyone ever looked tougher in a surgical cap and gown? Probably not, although most athletes don’t post photos of themselves heading into surgery so it’s tough to compare.
The prognosis for Bowman’s recover is in the six-to-eight months range. To help everyone out, I utilized my mathematics expertise (translation: using my fingers while counting out loud) to determine that Bowman would be game-ready by August (training camp) at the earliest, October (middle of the season) at the latest.
I’m not a doctor (I’m not sure why people always feel the need to say that, but I feel silly writing a post about ACL surgery without clarifying), but with Patrick Willis promising to be at Bowman’s side every step of the way I’d have to imagine that Bowman will claim to be ready for action before eight months has passed. The question then would be whether the 49ers felt comfortable letting Bowman press the issue, or if they’d rather let Michael Wilhoite (an exclusive-rights free agent) play in Bowman’s spot until all parties involved agree that the Defensive Player of the Year Candidate (who didn’t receive any votes, but whatever) is 100%.
Since there’s no reason to rush back one of the 49ers’ biggest investments, a guy they gave a five-year extension to last season that included $25.5 million in guaranteed money, don’t be surprised if the 49ers draft an inside linebacker in the first four rounds in May. Perhaps Shayne Skov from Stanford would be an option, although the workout results (40-time especially, in Skov’s case) could have a lot to do with where he falls and whether the 49ers would be interested. The 49ers haven’t drafted one player from Stanford since Jim Harbaugh took over.