Harbaugh says 49ers will proceed slowly with Lattimore

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There is no longer a rush for Marcus Lattimore to get back on the field.

The San Francisco 49ers have done away with that.

The Niners selected the South Carolina running back in the fourth round Saturday and they have already made it clear to Lattimore that they want to throw the brakes on his ambitious goals to be carrying the ball again soon.

Lattimore suffered a gruesome injury last October against Tennessee, dislocating his right knee and tearing three ligaments in the knee. He’s had a remarkable recovery that Dr. James Andrews has testified too, but the Niners see no point in rushing a running back who went out in 2011 with a torn ACL in his left knee.

We're going to slow things down for him physically,” San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said, according to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area. “I love his mental approach to it — the aggressive mental approach that he's taken though this whole process. But we're going to slow the aggressive physical down and make sure Marcus is going to be 100 percent healthy before he's out there on the field. I told him that (and) shared that with his mother (Yolanda Smith).

“If he doesn't play this year, then he doesn't play this year. I think if anybody can overcome what he's been through, it's him.”

The 49ers do not need to rush Lattimore into action. They have a strong primary back in Frank Gore with able help on the roster, including Kendall Hunter, Anthony Dixon and LaMichael James. Lattimore was a luxury selection and now the team will take time to see if it can maximize its investment.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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