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Michael Crabtree says he's ready for preseason opener

A minor miracle out of San Francisco 49ers camp, where Michael Crabtree spoke to the media for the first time since January.

The wide receiver confirmed he strained his right calf muscle in practice on July 27, and said he expects to play in the Niners' preseason opener on Friday night.

"I don't know too much about injuries," Crabtree said Tuesday, via Matt Maiocco of "You think I would. It's always something different in football. It was just my calf, and I just had to stay off it. I didn't want anything serious to happen to it. It's the training staff and coaches, and when they tell me I can go, I'm going."

Crabtree missed seven practices with the calf injury before returning to the field on Monday. He practiced fully on Tuesday, reporting no lingering effects.

Despite entering his fourth season in the NFL, Crabtree has yet to play in a preseason game. Injuries held him out of games in 2011 and 2010, while a contract dispute put him on the shelf until October in his rookie year. In text form, he appeared to be defensive when asked about missing time year after year.

"I don't really think about it like that," Crabtree responded when asked if he gets frustrated. "I think of it as football. And whenever I can go, I'm going. If I can't go or they don't let me go, I can't be out there. But I look at it as football. I'm listening to the training staff and coaches on what's wise for me to do. It's football."

Crabtree was held to just one catch for three yards in San Francisco's NFC title game loss to the New York Giants, and spoke afterward about not getting enough targets from Alex Smith. With Randy Moss and Mario Manningham both in the picture, Crabtree will have to fight to remain on his quarterback's radar.

Actually playing in the presason can only help on that front.

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