SANTA CLARA -- Right tackle Mike McGlinchey returned to 49ers practice on Tuesday. While things are leaning toward him starting on Monday night facing the Seahawks, he wouldn’t give a full confirmation.
“That’s what the hope is,” McGlinchey said. “I’m not going to say anything about that, but you know, the hope is to be ready to play as soon as possible.”
McGlinchey was held out of four games after having arthroscopic surgery on his left knee following the 49ers Week 5 matchup facing the Browns. He has been working diligently with the team’s player performance staff and is excited to get back on the field. He was seen wearing a supportive compression sleeve on his left leg during practice but not a brace.
“It was a good day,” McGlinchey said. “A good first day, good to get it moving again. Got to get my wind back and get ready to play some football. I think I’m just about through the rehab process and it’s about becoming a football player again.”
McGlinchey was very complimentary of Daniel Brunskill who stood in for him during his absence. The Notre Dame tackle also tipped his hat to Justin Skule who played on the opposite side standing in for injured left tackle Joe Staley who also returned to practice on Tuesday.
“Dan has done a great job,” McGlinchey said. “He’s been consistent and a good player for us. He’s been on his guys in the run game and great with his hands in the pass game. All the credit in the world to both Dan and Justin for the job that they’ve done.
“We’re very lucky. There’s not a lot of teams in the NFL that can lose their starting tackles and still have the production that we’ve had offensively and that’s a credit Kyle [Shanahan] and the offensive staff and the two guys that stepped up huge for us.”
Like fullback Kyle Juszczyk, McGlinchey found the time off very challenging. Sitting on the sidelines watching the game isn’t what either starter is used to doing.
While McGlinchey couldn’t confirm his availability on Monday as Juszczyk did, it is apparent that there is nothing he would rather do.
“It’s been awful,” McGlinchey said. “I’m not a guy that likes to just sit around and collect a check. I’m here to play football. I’m here because I love what I do and I’m a competitor.
“As good as it is watching my team go 8-0, it’s been pretty tough going from where I was in the first four games to being a fan and a sideline guy these past four. So I’m excited to get back into the groove here, and hopefully, get back soon.”
Seattle is clearly a contest that McGlinchey does not want to miss playing in. He called out the Faithful to arrive at Levi’s Stadium early, hoping the Bay Area traffic isn’t too much of an impediment.
“It’s an exciting matchup,” McGlinchey said. “We get our arch-rival Seattle Seahawks who are just as good as a football team as there is in the NFL, primetime, on Monday night. It doesn’t get any better than that.
“That’s why you play football, for those moments in the primetime lights and hopefully we can continue our trend of what we’ve been doing. Hopefully the Faithful are ready to go and that 5 o’clock commute will lessen up for them to get there on time.”