The person said that Bowman would have surgery for the ACL tear but that the MCL is likely to heal with rest and he is expected to be ready for the 2014 season.
“It’s not as bad as feared,” the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the team hadn’t made an announcement regarding the results of tests on Bowman’s knee.
Coach Jim Harbaugh said after Sunday’s 23-17 season-ending loss to the Seahawks that Bowman was believed to have torn his ACL, and Harbaugh wasn’t to address the media again until today.
Kansas City’s Derrick Johnson was chosen Monday to replace Bowman in the Pro Bowl.
49ers linebackers coach Jim Leavitt remained optimistic earlier Monday that Bowman would be playing when the 49ers open new Levi’s Stadium next season.
“He’s a warrior. He’s going to push forward, there’s no question,” Leavitt said. “He’s a special guy, tremendously talented, but he’s got such a heart. He’s been so good with me it’s unbelievable. He’s great young man. He’ll be fine. We’re going into a new stadium and he’ll be ready to go when we start.”
In addition, left guard Mike Iupati broke his left ankle in the loss. He says he doesn’t know whether he will need surgery, but is scheduled to be further evaluated today.
“This is a bad-luck year,” said Iupati, who missed four games with a left knee injury. “I’ll probably be in a cast for a while.”
For Bowman, this is a terrible ending to a career season in which he emerged as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. In December, Bowman’s three sacks, two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery were unmatched by any other player all season.
The 25-year-old Bowman, drafted out of Penn State in 2010 and signed to a five-year contract extension worth $45.25 million in November 2012, had 145 tackles, five sacks, two interceptions and four forced fumbles this season.
“He sacrificed his body for this team. He’s our leader and arguably the best player that we have,” rookie safety Eric Reid said.
Bowman still planned to attend a meet and greet appearance tonight at a Sunvalley Mall in Concord from 6 to 8 p.m., according to publicist Theodore Palmer.