<
>

Jim Harbaugh tempers enthusiasm for Aldon Smith's return

While San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith’s nine-game suspension is served in full and he is eligible to return in a full capacity this week-- perhaps even suiting up at the New York Giants on Sunday -- coach Jim Harbaugh insisted Monday nothing is guaranteed.

“We’ll see,” Harbaugh said. “I mean, I understand he’s eligible to play and to practice and I very much look forward to that. There’s consquences for actions, good and bad. Good consequences for good actions and there’s accountability and he has served that. He has done that.

“Look forward to moving forward and a fresh, clean slate and that’s what I anticipate and look forward to.”

Since coming into the NFL as the No. 7 overall pick in 2011, Smith has been one of the best pass-rushers in the league with 42 sacks in 43 games, including 19 1/2 in 2012 .

But since the suspension allowed Smith to work out at the team facility but not with the team, Harbaugh was asked how much Smith could contribute immediately, given his relative lack of football shape.

“Not ready to jump to that, not ready to predict that or answer that question,” Harbaugh said. “Excited to having him back to playing football with the team. That’s where the excitement lies right now.”