Garcia might miss start of camp

The week that the 49ers will start their 2003 training camp began ominously Monday morning when coach Dennis Erickson revealed starting quarterback Jeff Garcia injured his back last week in Los Angeles. A protruded disk could keep the three-time Pro Bowler out of action when the Niners hit the field for Friday's first summer practice session, and perhaps an indefinite period after that.

According to Erickson, Garcia was working out with a trainer in Los Angeles when he aggravated his back. He is currently going through rehab, and the Niners, understandably, are being cautious with the injury.

That means Garcia might be held out of at least the opening sessions of camp. When asked if Garcia's injury would hold him back in camp, Erickson said, "I don't know. We'll have to see. It's just so hard to evaluate. I haven't had a chance to visit with him, but I've talked to him. Of course, everybody's on the cautious side right now, so we will just have to wait and see."

Garcia had a Magnetic Resonance Imaging exam and has continued to experience some pain and spasms in the area.

"It's just a disc that protruded, so they say," Erickson said. "He had some back spasms. It's not going to be season-ending by any means, but we will just have to take it slower right now."


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