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San Francisco 49ers' Michael Crabtree has stitches out

The next phase in the 'Michael Crabtree attempts to make it back before the season ends' series inches closer.

Matthew Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reported Tuesday morning that the San Francisco 49ers' wide receiver had the stitches removed on Monday following his May 22 surgery on his torn right Achilles' tendon.

If he plans to play -- and he most assuredly does -- beginning his rehabilitation as soon as possible is paramount.

Dr. Dan Solomon, an orthopedic surgeon (not associated with Crabtree's surgery), told Barrows that an aggressive approach to rehab would put Crabtree in a pool working on range of motion as soon as the surgical wound heals.

If Crabtree can stay on the aggressive rehab schedule Solomon laid out as a possibility for recovery, it could have him back on the field for the final month of the season.

The leaps and bounds made in surgical techniques and accelerated rehab have pretty much anyone and everyone optimistic we will see the 49ers' No. 1 receiver on the field before the playoffs.

Now that those pesky stitches are out, the rehab sessions should start soon.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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