49ers' Jimmie Ward should return from injury by Week 5, Kyle Shanahan hopes

·2 min read

Shanahan: Ward 'should be able to' return from injury by Week 5 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Safety Jimmie Ward will miss the 49ers’ first four games of the 2022 NFL season due to injury, that much is expected.

But will his hamstring be good to go by Week 5?

Kyle Shanahan -- and the 49ers Faithful -- certainly hope so.

“You know, he pulled his hamstring really bad and it was a high one,” the 49ers coach told KNBR’s “Tolbert & Copes” on Thursday.

Ward’s hamstring landed him on the short-term Injured Reserve for the start of the regular season, general manager John Lynch first revealed on the Amazon Prime broadcast during San Francisco’s preseason matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.

The 49ers first made the injury's severity public on Aug. 15, when Shanahan told reporters Ward’s hamstring issue was “a little worse” than the minor injuries some of his teammates were working through at the time.

Shanahan on Thursday told “Tolbert & Copes” that high hamstring injuries like the one Ward is dealing with “tend to take longer” to heal.

“Really hoping to get him back, I believe it’s Week 5, the earliest he can come back,” Shanahan said. “He should be able to do that, but we definitely don’t want to rush him back and have him do it again and then miss the whole year.

“So that’s our goal, and hopefully it’ll be able to come true.”

Should Ward return for Week 5, he’ll be back just in time to help the 49ers play Baker Mayfield and the Carolina Panthers. He’ll miss matchups with the Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Rams in the meantime.

With their starting free safety on short-term IR to start the season, the 49ers have Talanoa Hufanga, George Odum and Tarvarius Moore left on the roster to fill the void.

RELATED: Could 49ers bring back Tartt with Jimmie Ward missing time?

And while Ward’s current injury situation might seem a bit uncertain, Shanahan also provided some good news on running back Elijah Mitchell, who is a “full go” for Week 1 agains the Bears after dealing with a hamstring issue of his own.

Mitchell has been a full participant in the team’s last three practices after sitting out in preseason, Shanahan said.

And with hopes of a Super Bowl run on the horizon, the 49ers definitely need a fully-healthy squad at the ready.

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