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49ers RB Marcus Lattimore 'fine' if asked to sit out 2013 season

By John Breech | CBSSports.com

49ers fourth-round pick Marcus Lattimore could end up sitting out the 2013 season. (USATSI)

Back in October, former South Carolina running back Marcus Lattiomore suffered one of the more gruesome injuries of the college football season. In a game against Tennessee, Lattimore's final year as a Gamecock ended prematurely when he tore three ligaments in his right knee.

After being drafted by the 49ers in the fourth round of April's NFL Draft, Niners coach Jim Harbaugh hinted that having Lattimore sit out the 2013 season was a possibility.

During rookie minicamp on Friday, Lattimore was asked his feelings on possibly sitting out the season, "I think that would be fine," Lattimore told the Sacramento Bee. "Whatever happens, you know, these next three months will probably determine that. I'm just going to continue to keep working hard and if I'm called upon, I feel like I'll hopefully be ready."

After the draft, Harbaugh had said of Lattimore, "We're going to slow down the aggressive physical things and make sure Marcus is 100 percent healthy before he goes out there on the field. If he doesn't play this year, then he doesn't play this year."

On Friday, Harbaugh sounded slightly more optimistic about Lattimore's chances of playing in 2013, "The ACL looks really good for Marcus," Harbaugh said. "And we're going to have to take a step back in terms of some of the cutting because we want that inside of the knee, the lateral side of the knee to heal fully. But, we're good. We've talked. And our trainers are excited."

However, Harbaugh wouldn't go as far as saying Lattimore would definitely play next season, "I don't think it's necessary to go through those hypotheticals yet," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh rarely shows his hand until he absolutely has too, so don't look for a decision on Lattimore's rookie season to come until the end of the preseason at the earliest.

Keep your eye on everything NFL by following John Breech on Twitter @JohnBreech.

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