Spikes hopes to return from injury Sunday | NevadaAppeal.com

Spikes hopes to return from injury Sunday

AP Sports Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) – San Francisco linebacker Takeo Spikes hopes to return from a hamstring injury for the 49ers’ home game Sunday against Jacksonville.

Spikes missed last week’s 30-24 loss at Green Bay and was replaced by Matt Wilhelm. Spikes strained his left hamstring just before halftime of a win over the Chicago Bears on Nov. 12 and hasn’t played since.

“Better than yesterday, not as good as tomorrow,” Spikes said of how he feels. “I’m very optimistic, the same way I was last week, that I felt I was going to do everything possible to play. It will be pretty much the same, a game-time decision. It’s just frustrating being on the sidelines. You see stuff happen before it even happens.”

Spikes said his rehab varies by the day. He did some running before Sunday’s loss at Green Bay and said that’s not a concern.

“He is coming along,” coach Mike Singletary said. “We are hopeful, but we don’t know that yet. It will be a game-time decision.”

Singletary said the rest of the players on the Niners’ lengthy injury list should be ready to go by Sunday for San Francisco (4-6), which has lost four of its last five and could seriously use a win to keep its slim playoff hopes alive.

Starting left guard David Baas left Sunday’s game in the first quarter with a right ankle sprain, but it isn’t a high ankle sprain as the team first thought.

“He is a lot better than we anticipated,” Singletary said.

Left tackle Joe Staley, nursing a sprained right knee he hurt during San Francisco’s 18-14 loss at Indianapolis on Nov. 1, is optimistic he will be back nearly on schedule – with the goal of playing in a Monday night game against division rival Arizona on Dec. 14. The team said he would likely miss a month and a half.

Staley, who said the swelling has nearly subsided, has regained range of motion in his knee and is working now to strengthen the knee and regain stability.

“Everything is progressing really well,” Staley said. “I haven’t set a date yet but the goal is the Monday night game against Arizona. I’m healing fairly well. I’ve always been a fast healer.”

Getting Staley back would be a big boost for the 49ers’ struggling offensive line, which has been inconsistent all season. In June, San Francisco rewarded Staley with a six-year contract extension.

Cornerback Nate Clements broke his right shoulder blade the same day Staley was injured and was expected to miss six to eight weeks. He is still using a sling for about another week.

Clements still believes he will return this season, but isn’t sure when that might be.

“I’m progressing,” he said. “Right now I’m just doing what the doctors and trainers want me to do. Only time will tell.”

Singletary also is leaning toward at least one lineup change against the Jaguars: starting Dre’ Bly at the left cornerback spot in place of Tarell Brown.

Brown struggled to tackle against the Packers, which could have prompted the 49ers to consider making the change.

“Coach has the final decision and I have to run with it,” Brown said. “At the end of the day, we all want to win. The most important thing is to get us a ‘W.’ I’m not a selfish guy.”