NaVorro Bowman knows he's not back to being NaVorro Bowman again. But he continues to head in the right direction.
The 49ers' three-time All-Pro linebacker hasn't played a down since suffering a devastating knee injury in the 2013 NFC Championship Game. When he watches tape of his practice sessions in training camp, he knows he still has work to do.
"Not yet, but I'm satisfied with how much work I've put in and how far I've come," Bowman said, according to CSNBayArea.com.
Niners coach Jim Tomsula said earlier this week that Bowman would play in the preseason opener on Saturday against the Texans, but it's now likely Bowman will be held out at least another week before making his return.
"I've kind of hit the hurdles out here in practice," Bowman said. "But, of course, games are different. I've been pushing myself. I'll get out there when I'm ready and when I feel that it's time to go. I don't want to just go out there for two or three plays. I want to really get out there and do something. So I'll decide what game that is and go from there."
Will Bowman ever return to being the player he was before the Seahawks game? It's hard to say, but just having the defensive leader healthy and back on the field will be a huge lift for a Niners team desperate for continuity following a star-crossed offseason.