What Justin Smith's injury means for 49ers

December, 28, 2012
12/28/12
6:48
PM ET
Justin Smith cleared up confusion over his injury situation Friday.

The San Francisco 49ers' Pro Bowl defensive lineman will require surgery to repair his injured triceps. However, Smith will wait until the offseason before undergoing the procedure. In the meantime, he'll try to play in the playoffs.

One question is whether Smith will require surgery to repair the torn tendon, or whether he'll need surgery to remove a loose bone spur, or whether he'll require surgery for both. Another question is whether attempting to play will lead to a more serious injury, one that could affect Smith's ability to regain top form next season, when he will be 34 years old.

The 49ers already needed to draft a defensive lineman in 2013. Their starting line was the oldest in the NFL by average age entering this season. Smith's injury situation heightens the need for fresh talent on the line.

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