More than a year and a half after his nasty leg injury (graphic video) Marcus Lattimore is ready for full-contact football once again. It seems like a quasi-miracle that Lattimore, only 18 months removed from having his leg unhinged, could line up as the second-string running back for the San Francisco 49ers if he wins his training camp battle with others. Of course, there’s a lot of hard work to be done between now and then for any of that to happen.
“As soon as I play that first preseason game, take some hits and get back up, I’ll be fine,” Lattimore told the San Jose Mercury News.
That’s likely easier said than done. The trauma done to his knee is such that the mental damage could be even worse than the physical damage.
Often players recovering from knee injuries struggle to trust their knee, for lack of a better word. Try tearing your knee up, then planting it in turf and pushing off for a run. If that baby caves, you sir or ma’am are going to be weeping on the ground. That’s what Lattimore faces in every snap this year.
Of course, if you ask the running back out of South Carolina, it’s all a moot point. “Mentally I have to block out that (concern),” Lattimore said. “My knee is fine. I’ve worked hard; I’ve done all I can. All I can do is go out there and run and show the coaches that I’m getting better every day and getting ready.”
The San Francisco 49ers play their first preseason game on August 7th at Baltimore. Perhaps then we’ll get a better idea of what Lattimore’s abilities at the pro level. Until such time, we’ll keep you posted on any updates from camp.