Rattay on the way

Tim Rattay walked around 49ers headquarters Wednesday with a pair of crutches attached to his arms, but he doesn't plan to be wearing them for long. In fact, Rattay says, he doesn't even need to be wearing them now, and the QB vowed to be back for the start of training camp. But the team is being a bit more reserved in those projections. "I'm not giving any hard lines on that," 49ers trainer Todd Lazenby said. "You want to be as highly optimistic as you can, but you want to be realistic, too."

In the three weeks since Rattay had surgery May 11 to reattach a torn adductor tendon in his left groin area, he has displayed steady progress in his rehab. Rattay realizes he needs to be patient, but team trainers almost need to tell him to slow down.

"There's a certain time frame when you have a surgical repair that the tissue has to heal," Lazenby said. "If you overstep that and go too aggressive, then you can have some setbacks. So I'm not going to give you any time(table). We gave you a 3-to-4 month window (when Rattay was injured), so that's what we're probably going to stick with."

But Rattay has been feeling so good that he recently shed a brace that protected his leg from going outward and now is ready to toss the crutches away, too. He proclaimed that, from where he currently stands in his recovery, "I feel like I'll be ready to practice from Day 1" when training camp begins July 31.

"Oh, yeah, yeah," Rattay said. "That's about nine weeks from now – or eight weeks and four days from now, not that I'm counting. I plan to be ready for the get-go."

His rehab, Rattay said, is "going really well. I'm happy with where we are. It's been three weeks and a day. I've been doing a lot of strengthening of it already. I'm pretty happy with where we are. Considering what happened, and that we have about nine weeks left, I feel really good. I think I'm on target."

Rattay has been spending about six hours a day at the team facility rehabilitating the injury. He's doing work on his abdominal muscles and legs, is able walk in the pool and is doing some light lifting with his legs, including curls and leg presses. He does upper-body weight lifting four times a week and has been doing leg work five times a week for the last two weeks. He'll be able to run in three to four weeks and will begin throwing again soon.

"I'm going to try to get into that the next couple of weeks," Rattay said. "I've been pestering them to let me, but they haven't let me. I'll have a month or so to get my arm where it needs to be."

While Lazenby remains cautious, he also is encouraged with Rattay's progress.

"He's doing very well with the progression that we're doing with him," Lazenby said. "The biggest thing that is encouraging to me is that he's not having soreness in the evening or soreness in the morning when he wakes up. That tells you that you're not overloading that tendon, which is good. He's progressing right where you'd want him to be.

"Sure, (he feels) pretty good right now. But you still have to protect it. You have to protect to repair. So that's the phase we're in. Sure, he wants to do more and more, but he understands what the restrictions are and knows that he has to let this thing heal properly for him to get the progression that you want. But we're still making the muscle work."

That's not to say Rattay is getting enough work to keep him satisfied during his recovery phase.

"It happened. You deal with it," Rattay said. "You can't spend too much time pouting about it or trying to figure out what happened and why. Now it's just a matter of getting healthy. I'm here as much as I can. I'm getting treatment every day."

The hardest part of all that? Well, watching the team practice without him, of course. "I'm just watching," Rattay said. "If I can help any way I can, I do. I'm watching and learning just like those guys. But it sucks. It's like sitting in a golf cart and not golfing."

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