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George Kittle hopeful to return to lineup against Packers

The 49ers sit at 9-1, but with the Packers, Ravens, and Saints on tap in the next three weeks, we'll find out how good San Francisco really is.

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle has missed his team’s last two games due to knee and ankle injuries. He’s really hoping that streak won’t grow to three.

Kittle returned to practice on Thursday for the first time since being injured on Halloween night. According to Nick Wagoner of, Kittle is hopeful to play Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers and saw Thursday’s return to the field as a great step toward doing so.

“It went really well,” Kittle said. “It was definitely a step in the right direction. It was really fun being back out there with the guys. I definitely don’t miss sitting in the training room all day, so definitely a good step in the right direction and the goal is definitely still Green Bay.”

In Kittle’s absence, the 49ers lost their first game of the season, 27-24, to the Seattle Seahawks in overtime. Six days later, they had to overcome a four-point Arizona lead held into the final minute to avoid a second straight defeat.

In addition to being a key NFC matchup, Kittle is looking forward to the chance to play on Sunday night for the first time as well. While the medical staff and head coach Kyle Shanahan will have the ultimate say over Kittle’s availability, it’s one more incentive for Kittle to find his way back into the lineup this week.

“I think I’ve yet to play in a Sunday night game in my career, so I’m really looking forward to that. It’s just going to be an absolute blast,” he said.