49ers Camp Update

The Niners returned for their final week of training camp at University of the Pacific in Stockton to discover they may lose their starting tight end for the season opener, may soon gain the services of a starting defensive lineman and may soon have a new kicker on the way.

The Niners returned for their final week of training camp at University of
the Pacific in Stockton to discover they may lose their starting tight end
for the season opener, may soon gain the services of a starting defensive
lineman and may soon have a new kicker on the way.
---- Defensive lineman Junior Bryant announced he will attempt a comeback
from a career-threatening neck injury that has had him contemplating
retirement.
"I am coming back," said Bryant, who had started 35 consecutive games before
he was injured Sept. 17 last year in a game at St. Louis. His injury later
was diagnosed as a bulging disk in his neck. "It was a very hard decision. I
took my time with it. I wanted to make sure I was making the right decision
for the right reasons. There were a lot of pros and cons. I had to make sure
I was comfortable with my decision."
Bryant still must pass a physical to return to full practice with the team.
Bryant, who has been working out on the side with the team's conditioning and
strength coaches, said that could happen as soon as this week. Niners general
manager Terry Donahue said that would be the first of several steps that
would have to occur for Bryant to rejoin the team this season.
--- Tight end Greg Clark underwent surgery on his right hamstring Aug. 14
that could force him to miss the Sept. 9 season opener against Atlanta.
Clark, who had separate surgeries on both of his hamstrings earlier this
year, had a portion of the medial hamstring tendon in his right leg removed.
"The prognosis is two to four weeks before he's back out here practicing
again," Niners coach Steve Mariucci said. "I guess the worst-case scenario is
that the two to four weeks turns into four to six, then it takes more time
for him to feel confident and then it drags out a little bit. But he feels
good, the doctors are confident about it and it's something that he'll feel
much better with having had this done."
---- Kicker Doug Brien, released earlier this year by New Orleans, had a
tryout with the team. Brien was drafted by the 49ers in the third round in
1994 and was their kicker that year during the team's last Super
Bowl-championship season. After Brien's tryout, the team then released kicker
Jeff Hall, who had been signed last week. Mariucci said no decision is
imminent on signing Brien - the team would have to clear cap room first -
which once again leaves Jose Cortez as the only kicker in camp.

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