Alex Smith won't need surgery on shoulder

Alex Smith won't need surgery on shoulder

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Quarterback Alex Smith will miss the San Francisco 49ers' game against Baltimore on Sunday but won't need surgery on his separated right shoulder.

Coach Mike Nolan said Monday that the 49ers won't set a target return date for Smith until Thursday, when the swelling subsides in his shoulder.

Though similar injuries sometimes require 2-3 months of recovery, Nolan expressed hope that Smith might even return by Oct. 21, when the 49ers visit the New York Giants in their first game after a bye week.

Smith was hurt on the third play of the 49ers' 23-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday when 308-pound defensive tackle Rocky Bernard landed on him while sacking him.

Trent Dilfer, who got his first game action since 2005 in relief of Smith, will get the start against the Ravens -- the team Dilfer led to its only Super Bowl victory.

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