SANTA CLARA -- Mario Manningham paused from his own injury rehabilitation Thursday to rally 49ers teammates in the wake of Michael Crabtree's Achilles tear.

"It's sad to see somebody get hurt that's a great value to our team," Manningham told SiriusXM NFL Radio, "but the next person has to step up, man. We all know injuries are a part of the game."

Manningham sustained a season-ending left knee injury Dec. 23 at Seattle, and he's been constantly rehabilitating from that anterior cruciate ligament tear.

"I have started and running cutting and doing little things," Manningham said. "When you have knee injuries, you can't really take any time off. Every time I think about it, I'm trying to do something with my knee. I'm not rushing it but I am going hard on my knee."

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Mario Manningham (82) catches a pass in the end zone for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of their game against the
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Mario Manningham (82) catches a pass in the end zone for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of their game against the Buffalo Bills at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on Oct. 7, 2012. (Anda Chu/Staff file)

Manningham, the 49ers' second-leading receiver last year, is not expected to be ready for the start of training camp in two months. The 49ers open defense of their NFC title Sept. 8 against the Green Bay Packers at Candlestick Park.

Rather than announce a timetable for his return, Manningham said: "Whenever God wants me to come out and play, then when I'm 100 (percent), that's when I'm going to go out there."

Crabtree is likely out for at least the next five months. The 49ers are currently without three of their top four receivers, with only Anquan Boldin fully healthy while Crabtree, Manningham and Kyle Williams (knee) rehabilitate their injuries.


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"Just having a guy like Crab and knowing he's a leader on the offense and makes a lot of big plays for us, it sucks," 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman said on ESPN's "NFL32." "Like Mario says, guys are going to have to step up, and we have that type of team."

Manningham joined the 49ers a year ago after winning the Super Bowl with the New York Giants, and he finished last season with 42 receptions for 449 yards and one touchdown.

Good and bad days have accompanied Manningham's rehabilitation, but he's inspired by the eventual thought of catching passes from Colin Kaepernick, whose breakthrough last season wasn't a surprise to Manningham.

"Oh yeah, you could see it in practice, how he throws, how athletic he is," Manningham said. "When he runs the ball, it's like he's a punt returner, trying to get through the holes and not be touched. He adds a different thing than Alex Smith did, and I feel he's going to get better."