Marcus Lattimore predicted before the 2013 NFL Draft that his surgically reconstructed right knee would be ready to go by the beginning of the season. Now that he's property of the San Francisco 49ers, Lattimore is willing to defer to their timetable.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh said Friday that Lattimore's right knee "looks good structurally," but also cautioned that the fourth-round draft pick will have to take his time in recovering from his second major knee injury in as many seasons.
"We're going to have to take a step back in terms of some of the cutting," Harbaugh said, "because we want that inside of the knee, the lateral side of the knee, to heal fully."
"I think that would be fine," Lattimore said, via the Sacramento Bee. "Whatever happens, these next three months will probably determine that. I'm just going to continue to keep working hard, and if I'm called upon, I feel like hopefully I'll be ready."
Fortunately for Lattimore, it's a decision that won't have to be made any time soon. He will start training camp on the physically unable to perform list. Judging by the 49ers' willingness last season to redshirt the majority of their rookie class, it's a good bet that Lattimore also will miss the first six games of the 2013 season on the PUP list.
It won't be until early November when the 49ers will have to make a decision on the remainder of Lattimore's rookie season.
Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.