One orthopedic surgeon estimates that 49ers RE Justin Smith would need at least 12 weeks to regain "game readiness" from his left triceps tear, even if over 50 percent of the muscle is intact.
Keep in mind this orthopedist, Dr. David Chang, has not examined Smith up close and is simply formulating a guess based on experience. Smith had a bone spur detach from the triceps when he tore it on December 16. The 49ers have not yet placed him on injured reserve, but it's looking increasingly unlikely that Smith will be available again this season. "Even with a 50 percent tear, minimum time of healing is six weeks and rehab would have to ensue," Chang said. "So time back is not any shorter without surgery."