Jim Harbaugh 'would anticipate' Michael Crabtree back this week

Michael Crabtree will be back for the first time since last season. (Getty Images)

The 49ers moved to 8-4 on Monday night with a 26-7 win in Washington over the Redskins. That they've done it with as little help for Colin Kaepernick in the passing game should be encouraging. So should the return of Michael Crabtree this week.

Jim Harbaugh said following Monday night's win that he "would anticipate" Crabtree playing in Week 13.

"[We've got] Crabtree coming back next week. And hopefully get a few other guys back," Harbaugh said. "We need them all. This is only for the tough. Where our team is headed is only for the tough."

Since the coach threw the news of Crabtree out on his own, surprising most of the media, he was obviously asked for a confirmation follow up about Crabtree returning.

"I would anticipate that yes," Harbaugh said. "I would anticipate that."

There's no telling how the wideout will actually look though. Crabtree suffered a torn Achilles back in May and underwent surgery then. He'd been on the PUP list all season before being cleared to practice recently.

It wouldn't be surprising if he struggled with explosiveness early on; typically football players who return from Achilles injuries aren't the same as before the injury right away. (Obviously?)

Still, Crabtree's return is a welcome addition for the 49ers. And once he gets into game-playing shape and he and Kap get on the same page as they were in 2012, it could make a massive difference down the stretch for San Francisco.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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