After spending a week and a half on the non-football injury list, center Matt Birk took part in his first practice of training camp this morning.
Birk, who had offseason surgery on his elbow, was back getting reps with the first-team during full squad drills, and said he was happy to strap on the pads and hit again.
"I felt good," Birk said. "From a physical standpoint, it felt good. Definitely got some catching up to do, but it was great to get out there and feel healthy again."
The coaches didn't exactly ease Birk back into the mix; the 13-year veteran said he got pretty much every snap with the first-team today, which will likely leave him feeling a little sore when he wakes up tomorrow.
"That's part of the deal, you've got to get the body kind of callused up and ready to handle the rigors of the season," Birk said. "There's nothing like football shape. It's so hard to simulate, so it was good to get out there, and I was happy with what I was able to do from a pain standpoint. I tested it out and it held up pretty good, so that's all I can really hope for."
As for Mason, the wide receiver returned to practice today after missing the last two days with a sprained ankle. He said that while the ankle felt a little stiff, he's close to being 100 percent healthy.
"I was rusty a little bit, been out two days, which is equal to like four or five practices," Mason said. "It took me a minute to kind of get into it, get my wind back, but it's a part of football. I'll be back, I think, full go by tomorrow."
"We didn't have any live periods, so that was a good thing. The ankle held up strong."
While Birk and Mason were back on the field today, running back Willis McGahee was not.
McGahee was stuck on the sidelines this morning because of swelling in his knee. Harbaugh said that the injury isn't anything serious and the team just wanted to give McGahee a little rest.