San Francisco 49ers linebacker Darius Fleming, a fifth-round draft pick, tore his anterior cruciate ligament during his first rookie minicamp practice Friday, according to his agent, Andy Simms. That puts Fleming's availability for the 2012 season in serious jeopardy.
The team later confirmed the injury, according to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
Fleming, a 6-foot-1, 245-pound Notre Dame product, suffered the injury during a non-contact drill, awkwardly coming down on his knee. He attempted to continue doing drills, but he quickly realized his knee was giving out. An MRI confirmed the nature of the injury.
Simms said Fleming tore only the ACL, not any other ligaments, which might mean his recovery process will be relatively uncomplicated. The assumption is that he'll be on the sidelines for his rookie season, but the 49ers are keeping their options open.
Fleming signed a four-year contract reportedly worth $2.264 million the day before suffering the injury.
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