Niners' fans had a serious scare Friday night when pass rush specialist Aldon Smith left their first preseason game with a right hip bruise. While the injury isn't as severe as some feared, head coach Jim Harbaugh is estimating that Smith will "be out for some time," putting the rest of his preseason in doubt according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com.
Maiocco is reporting that Smith has already been ruled unavailable for San Francisco's next exhibition matchup against the Houston Texans while calling his return "unlikely" for the Aug. 26 game against the Denver Broncos. That only leaves the Niners last exhibition against the San Diego Chargers on Aug. 30 on tap and with that being the game in which coaches often elect to rest their starters, Smith is currently looking at a week one return.
In a glass half full analysis, this news isn't a huge blow as the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year runner-up already looked sharp in limited action against the Minnesota Vikings Friday. Picking up right where he left off on last year's 14-sack campaign, Smith seemed to be one step ahead of every other player on the field the second the ball was snap as he forced Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder into a handful of hurried situations.