The head coach mentioned how Carradine had a procedure to remove 'a mass scar tissue' in his injured knee this offseason.
“He wasn't able to straighten his leg before [the procedure]," Harbuagh said. "They took [the scar tissue] out and his leg went straight. He looks like a different guy now. Just what we saw when he did practice with our football team and now this procedure that’s been done, I’m even more excited. I think he’s going to have a great offseason and I look forward to his progress very, very much."
Harbaugh later said that he expects Carradine to participate in the offseason program including OTAs and minicamp. Carradine tore his ACL in November 2012 while playing for Florida State and has been on the path to recover since that injury. After the 49ers traded down one pick they acquired in exchange for Alex Smith, Carradine was selected at 40th overall in the second-round.
Carradine spent majority of the season on the non-football injury list before being placed on the 53-man roster late in the year. He was placed on the injured reserve after Week 14 in where Harbaugh said it was for the "best interest" of himself and the team.
In the long-term, the 49ers hope he can become the heir to Justin Smith at the DE position as he should be eased into the rotation for 2014.