Garcia out for exhibition opener

Jeff Garcia won't play in Saturday's preseason opener against the Chiefs in Kansas City, and the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback won't be on the field with the 49ers for an even longer period than that.

Niners coach Dennis Erickson made it official Wednesday: Garcia, whose back problems flared up before Tuesday's practice, is out for the team's preseason opener.

"Right now, he won't play against Kansas City. We're going to hold him out of that," Erickson said. "Hopefully, he'll be ready to go (next) Thursday against the Raiders."

Garcia might not see a lot of practice time between now and that Aug. 14 preseason home opener against Oakland. Erickson said Garcia will be held out of practice until at least Monday, when his injury will be re-evaluated.

Garcia aggravated a bulging disk in his back while working out with a trainer on July 14. After rehabbing the injury, he was limited during the first few days of camp but displayed no ill effects and was practicing at full speed before long. He recently said the back no longer was an issue.

It's now an issue again.

"It's stiff, it's a little bit sore, but it's not near what it was," Erickson said. "I do know it is not anything like it was when he originally hurt it. It felt good, he never had a problem with it, and then all of a sudden, (Tuesday) it bothered him. We have to be careful with it. He won't practice. We're just going to give him until Monday, and then re-evaluate it."

Erickson also indicated Garcia probably won't even make the trip to Kansas City. Backup Tim Rattay will start against the Chiefs.

"If it is bothering him, I wouldn't put him on a plane for three-and-a-half hours with a back like that. We'll evaluate that."


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