National Football League

Report: 49ers LB Alexander could return Saturday

nfl4.jpgSan Francisco 49ers linebacker Kwon Alexander, who practiced this week for the first time since tearing his pectoral muscle midway though the season, could be ready to play in Saturday’s NFC divisional round playoff game, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday.

Alexander was placed on injured reserve Nov. 5 after sustaining the injury in the 49ers’ 28-25 victory over Arizona on Oct. 31. He practiced Thursday, which opened a three-week window in which he can be activated from injured reserve.

He told reporters on Thursday that his rehab and recovery were ahead of schedule, and that he had full range of motion four weeks after his surgery. He noted he was at practice two days after surgery and has been with the team every day since.

“I love the team, I love the game,” Alexander said. “It’s hard to take me away from the game. It wasn’t my leg, it wasn’t an ACL or a knee. So I’m able to move around. And it didn’t hurt that bad after surgery. So I was able to get around, stay around my teammates, keep them hype. And keep this thing going.”

San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said earlier in the week that Alexander’s return is more likely for the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 19, but noted, “He’s coming along. … There’s definitely going to be a chance.”

“I’m just happy to be back out there,” Alexander said Thursday. “It was fun to be back. Just trying to get ready (to play). … A lot of times, you go through those things and those injuries, and it’s a hard time. I just stayed up. My teammates, they’ve been lifting me up. I’m just ready to get back, honestly.”

The 49ers (13-3) earned a first-round bye after capturing the top seed in the NFC playoffs.

Alexander, 25, recorded 34 tackles, one forced fumble, one interception and a half-sack in eight games this season, his first in San Francisco after signing a four-year, $54 million contract.

Alexander has collected 414 tackles, 7.5 sacks, seven interceptions, seven forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 54 career games with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2015-18) and 49ers. He was a Pro Bowl selection with the Buccaneers in 2017.

–Field Level Media

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