Bowman missed all of last season while recuperating from the devastating left knee injury -- he tore his ACL and MCL -- suffered during the NFC Championship Game following the 2013 season.
And while the Niners hoped and anticipated Bowman would only miss about half of the 2014 season, Baalke insisted there was never a setback.
“It was just a matter of what’s the best decision for him, long term, at that time,” Baalke said. “And that’s the decision we made.”
Speculation swirled Monday morning that Bowman’s knee had not responded and that he, not the retiring Patrick Willis, would be the one to leave Santa Clara, a possible cut if he failed a physical.
Last season, Bowman told reporters he would not speak about the injury until he got back on the field.
The Niners, though, expect Bowman back, just as they did last year, with his rehab going well, according to Baalke.
“You can tell he’s working,” Baalke said. “I think he feels good. He’s really starting to feel like it’s coming back to where he wants it. And that’s always the most important thing.
“I think he’s at a real good place now.”
Similar thoughts were expressed last fall, but time, and rehab, has a certain healing property.