Panthers' Smith probable, set to return vs. 49ers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith has practiced for a third straight day and is probable for Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Smith has been out since spraining his left ankle against New Orleans on Oct. 3. He sat out Carolina's loss to Chicago a week later and the Panthers had a bye last week.

The four-time Pro Bowl pick returned to practice on Wednesday and says he's pain-free, a boost for the league's lowest-scoring team as Matt Moore replaces Jimmy Clausen at quarterback.

The Panthers will be without right tackle Jeff Otah (knee) and linebacker Jamar Williams (neck) against the 49ers.

Left guard Travelle Wharton (knee) is probable after fully participating in practice Friday for the first time this week.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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