SANTA CLARA -- Coach Jim Harbaugh on Tuesday confirmed that All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and several other key players got hurt as well against the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game.
Bowman hurt his left knee late in the 49ers 23-17 loss to the Seahawks on Sunday. He also injured his medial collateral ligament on a play near the Seahawks goal line.
Harbaugh said Bowman needs surgery to repair the ACL damage. However, that can't be performed for two to three weeks, or until doctors have a better feel for how the MCL is healing.
Harbaugh said he doesn't know yet whether Bowman will be ready for the start of the 2014 regular season.
"He's got grueling rehab ahead," Harbaugh said. "That is not the way that you would've foreseen his offseason to be after coming off what many have talked about, and deservedly so, as a defensive player of the year type of performance.
"Great year by NaVorro. But facts are stubborn things. That's what lies ahead of him. Now knowing what's inside of NaVorro Bowman, I have great faith in NaVorro Bowman to continue to be great."
On the bright side, injuries suffered by running back Frank Gore, left offensive tackle Joe Staley and left guard Mike Iupati aren't as serious.
Iupati broke his left fibula, but he won't need surgery. Harbaugh said Iupati's left leg will be in a cast for up to three weeks.
Gore suffered a broken right ring finger. Harbaugh said he isn't sure when the injury occurred and that he didn't know it had happened until after the game.
Staley played well against the Seahawks, Harbaugh said, despite the fact he suffered a compound dislocation of his right thumb in the first quarter.
Staley missed only one play and is expected back at full strength long before the season starts.
Cornerback Chris Culliver, who missed the entire season, with a knee injury sprinted on the practice fields Monday, Harbaugh said, and defensive tackle Ian Williams is making progress in his return from a broken ankle that he suffered against the Seahawks on Sept. 15.