Rattay sharp in painless return

Tim Rattay estimated he threw about 160 passes Monday during his return to full practice drills with the 49ers. Some of them went farther than others, and none of them went exceptionally deep. But all were delivered without Rattay feeling pain in his right forearm, and he looked sharp as he guided the team in team drills, completing 12 of 13 throws during that session before announcing afterward that he plans to play in Friday's exhibition game against the Vikings in Minnesota.

"It's good to get out here," said Rattay, who essentially missed the past three weeks of practice after swelling developed in his right forearm Aug. 3. "I still wasn't throwing it 60 yards down the field, but I was able to get in there and get some work. It was good to get in the huddle, get guys around me and throwing. Hopefully, I can just increase the amount of force on the throws every day. It felt better throughout practice."

When asked about playing against Minnesota in four days, Rattay said, "I definitely feel like I want to get out there and I think that's the plan. I just want to keep improving every day and see where it's at (Friday)."

Rattay said a strained muscle in the forearm has been the heart of the problem. He had been unable to throw without pain in that area since the swelling occurred, so the team has been holding him out of practice and resting him to give his arm time to get back to 100 percent. Rattay threw without pain before Saturday's game in Chicago, then took some more throws Sunday at the team facility.

"I think that's the reason that they let me come out and go (Monday), was that it wasn't swollen and felt fine," Rattay said. "That's kind of the key. You do work and then the next day you see how it is. You kind of use that as a barometer. So, you just keep treating it and keep going at it and hopefully it will just keep getting better."

Rattay said his groin injury, which he still was rehabbing when training camp began July 30, is now at 100 percent. He estimated his arm at about 90 percent.

"I was happy with what I could do today," he said. "I haven't thrown a deep ball, but I don't want to rush into it and start whipping it around and get hurt again. It's definitely gone from the pain that I was feeling a couple of weeks ago trying to throw. Now it's just a matter of getting it strengthened a little more and just getting back into throwing (rhythm)."

Rattay looked pretty good to the Niners.

"We knew he was going to come back like he didn't miss a beat, and that's what he did," receiver Brandon Lloyd said. "We're impressed with what we saw today."

Said coach Dennis Erickson, "Tim did a good job throwing the football and running the offense. He's not full-speed, but he's getting there. He looked to me that he got more confidence as (practice) went on. I'm pleased with what I saw out there."

As far as playing Rattay this week against Minnesota, Erickson said, "We'll just have to see how he goes in practice. If he feels like he can, and we feel like he can, then maybe he'll play. We'll just have to wait. That's going to be entirely up to how he feels and how we think he does on the field and, obviously, what trainers and doctors say."

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