Expert discusses NaVorro Bowman's injury

NaVorro Bowman's road to recovery from a torn ACL began in earnest six days ago when he had surgery to repair the ligament.

Having the star inside linebacker ready for the start of the San Francisco 49ers' season is the goal, so every day is critical in Bowman's rehabilitation, ESPN medical expert Stephania Bell said.

“As soon as the surgery is over, the rehabilitation begins,” Bell said. “He has been doing things since then. The rehabilitation continues daily.”

She said early milestones are getting the quadriceps back in shape to help support the leg and to being able to walk without a limp.

The NFL season starts Sept. 7. Bell said she will not be surprised if Bowman, who was hurt in the NFC title game Jan. 19, is ready to play for the start of the season or if he's not ready.

“It's possible that he's ready, we certainly know better to think it's impossible,” Bell said. “But I wouldn't be surprised if he starts the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list.”

Bell said the team will not be able to be sure of Bowman's actual return date until the end of the rehabilitation.

“Every recovery is different,” Bell said. “But there is certainly reason to think that he will come back strong.”