Mar 27, 2013; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks former player Marcus Lattimore makes a reception during pro day in Columbia. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers news: Marcus Lattimore 'close' to being cleared for practice

At some point in 2014, we will see the San Francisco 49ers debut of running back Marcus Lattimore. It will be the first time that he will be on the field for a game since the gruesome knee injury he suffered two years ago against Tennessee ended his college career at South Carolina. But that journey will begin once he’s cleared to hit the practice field, which will be soon.

According to 49ers general manager Trent Baalke, it won’t be long before we see the former SEC star on the field in pads, getting back to what he does best.

“He’s close,” Baalke said. “How close? That remains to be seen.”

Baalke the stated that he and the team want Lattimore to be 100 percent healthy. And that takes into account his mental health, as well as his physical.

“He’s coming off, as we all know, a horrific injury,” Baalke said. “We want to make sure, as does he, that he’s 100 percent mentally and physically to help this football team. And to give himself the best chance to compete at a very high level, which obviously you have to do in the NFL.

“Coming off an injury there’s really two things you have to address: The physical and the mental. Players know when they’re ready. And trainers (and medical staff) can know to a point when they’re ready physically. But it really comes down in these types of cases where the injury was to the level that it was, it was a significant injury. So there’s a mental hurdle and physical hurdle you have to overcome.”

Of course, with as harsh of an injury it was that Lattimore suffered, your mind can get the best of you, and that could be a problem if you take a bad mindset out there.

But with how much strength, both mental and physical, that Lattimore has shown throughout this whole recovery process, he and the 49ers should be just fine.

Tags: Marcus Lattimore NFL San Francisco 49ers

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