Niners OT Joe Staley underwent knee surgery
According to reports, Staley had been experiencing issues with his knee since last season. While he could have reportedly played on the injury this year, he opted for the surgery to be fully healthy for training camp and the 2013 regular season. He recently missed the team’s OTA sessions and underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a minor meniscus tear in his left knee earlier this offseason.
The 27-year-old Staley was one of the more notable San Francisco 49ers players who missed the OTAs session last week. Staley is considered an integral part of the San Francisco run-blocking unit and the losing him would be a heavy blow to the team. Staley is coming off two back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons in which he started all 32 games despite multiple injuries.
However, Staley’s injury is reportedly not that serious and his status for the 2013 season is not in jeopardy. He is expected to be ready to go when the 49ers report for training camp in July, or even return possibly sooner. The sixth-year veteran was spotted working out in the weight room during the 49ers’ OTA practice on Tuesday.
The 49ers are expected to use the time during Staley’s absence to look across the depth chart to evaluate contenders for the team’s top backup tackle spot. Seventh-round pick Carter Byowski, as well as first-year pros Kenny Wiggins and Al Netter are expected to be in the competition at the position.
The defending NFC Champions have been pretty banged up since the Super Bowl loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Left guard Mike Iupati (shoulder), outside linebacker Aldon Smith (shoulder) as well as defensive end Justin Smith (arm) all had surgeries earlier this offseason and are mostly expected to be in full speed for training camp. However, wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who had surgery to repair a torn Achilles’ tendon this offseason, remains out for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, wide receivers Kyle Williams and Mario Manningham, as well as running back Kendall Hunter are also recovering from injuries that put their 2012 campaigns to an early end.