SANTA CLARA (AP) — San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Joshua Morgan is running, and even sprinting, again on the surgically repaired right leg that limited him to only five games in 2011 for the NFC West champions.
"I'm back!" Morgan said Thursday, sporting his typical smile as he left team headquarters. "I'm running again and have been for about two weeks — yes, sprinting."
Morgan broke a bone in his lower leg Oct. 9 against Tampa Bay, had surgery to have screws inserted and was placed on season-ending injured reserve. It was tough watching as his team went 13-3 in coach Jim Harbaugh's first season to end an eight-year drought without a playoff berth or winning record.
While Morgan is set to become a free agent, Harbaugh has said the team plans to bring him back for next season. Morgan insists he'll be ready to re-sign the moment the team reaches out. The free agency period begins March 13.
"When they tell me, I'll be there," he said, walking well on his now-healthy leg.
The 26-year-old Morgan, a four-year veteran out of Virginia Tech, had 15 catches for 220 yards and one touchdown. Five of those catches came in that game with the Buccaneers before he was injured.
San Francisco, which lost in overtime of the NFC championship game last month to the eventual Super Bowl champion Giants, certainly could use Morgan back in top form. General manager Trent Baalke is expected to address the receiving corps in April's draft after the 49ers' receivers managed just one catch for 3 yards in the 20-17 loss to New York at Candlestick Park on Jan. 22.
Morgan made his way through orange cones and dirt Thursday as the 49ers' facility is under construction for initial work on a new $1 billion stadium nearby.
It is set to be a 1.85 million square-foot facility with a 68,500-seat stadium featuring 165 luxury suites and 9,000 club seats. The venue also will be constructed with the versatility to host a wide range of events, including domestic and international soccer, college football, motocross, concerts and civic events.
Last Thursday at the Super Bowl in Indianapolis, NFL owners approved a $200 million loan to help the 49ers build a stadium near their current training site. Team President Jed York's hope is to be in the new venue by 2014, 2015 at the latest.