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There is no timetable set for NaVorro Bowman’s return, but 49ers general manager Trent Baalke suggested the All-Pro linebacker might actually be running faster as he rehabs from his serious left knee injury.
“I talked to him the other day in the weight room before I left and he was all excited ‘cause he had gotten to run a full-speed 40 for the first time in a long time and broke the 4.5 range -- it was in the 4.5 range,” Baalke said Monday on his weekly appearance on the Damon Bruce Show (95.7 The Game).
“So he was all excited. But he’s coming along very well. When he’s set to return remains to be seen. But progressing well, as is Patrick (Willis).”
Willis sat out the Oct. 19 game against the Denver Broncos due to a toe muscle strain, he said. His availability for Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams remains in question.
Bowman remains on the physically unable to perform list from the torn ACL he sustained in the NFC Championship game.
The 49ers have no set timetable for his return to action. But he appears to be on target for a return as early, perhaps, as late November.
After all, he apparently has not lost any speed. Bowman ran a time of 4.70 seconds at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine, according to NFLDraftscout.com. He later ran the 40-yard dash in 4.62 seconds at his Penn State pro day.
Bowman has been running straight ahead for several weeks. He is also working on change-of-direction running, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said.
“He’s running,” Harbaugh said on Monday. “He’s doing some lateral cutting. He’s progressing. Nothing to report today about a timetable.”