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SANTA CLARA – Rookie center Marcus Martin avoided a season-ending knee injury, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday.
Martin, a third-round draft pick from USC, sustained a left knee injury Sunday in the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers. He underwent an MRI examination that ruled out an ACL tear, Harbaugh said.
Martin is not expected to be lost for the remainder of the season, but the injury is expected to keep him out for a large part of the season. Harbaugh did not speculate on the amount of time Martin will miss this season.
“(I) don’t want to put a timeline on it,” Harbaugh said.
The 49ers could place Martin on injured reserve, which would make him ineligible for the rest of the season. Every team is allowed to place one player on IR/designated for return, which would make him eligible after missing eight weeks. Nose tackle Glenn Dorsey is also a candidate for that designation. Or the 49ers can just carry Martin on the 53-man roster.
Martin was slated to open the season as a backup at center behind starter Daniel Kilgore. Adam Snyder and Joe Looney are also capable to playing center.