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Jim Tomsula: NaVorro Bowman looking great for 49ers

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All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman returned to practice late last month for the first time since shredding his knee in the 2013 NFC Championship Game.

Judging by the tone of coach Jim Tomsula's comments on Friday, Bowman is already closing in on pre-injury form.

"Bowman's looking great," Tomsula said, via Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area. "Bow looks great. I'd say we're more treating Bow like a vet than we're treating Bow like a post-injury guy right now."

Tomsula also offered high praise for 2013 sixth-round pick Nick Moody, effectively shutting down speculation that the 49ers will add veteran Lance Briggs as linebacker insurance.

Although San Francisco lost tackling machines Patrick Willis and Chris Borland to surprising retirements, Tomsula has high expectations for Bowman and Michael Wilhoite as the projected starters on the inside.

If the 49ers are going to continue their streak of top-five defenses after losing so much talent this offseason, Bowman will have to recapture the form that had him in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation two years ago.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast welcomes Lindsay Rhodes to discuss the Patriots' response in the "Deflategate" saga and the latest names revealed on the "The Top 100 Players of 2015" countdown. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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