49ers C Eric Heitmann is expected to miss the entire 2011 season after undergoing neck surgery, CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco reported.
Heitmann underwent the surgery four weeks ago to repair a ruptured disk. His agent, Kenny Zuckerman, told Maiocco that the surgery takes approximately six months from which to recover.
Heitmann suffered a broken left fibula in training camp last year. He was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 2 after his leg healed, but his neck kept him on the sideline.
The 31-year-old had started every game for the 49ers from 2007-09. He has started 114 games in his career. David Baas replaced Heitmann and started all 16 games, but is a free agent.
The way we see it
This is tough news for Heitmann to potentially miss his second season in a row after missing two games from 2004-09. Re-signing Baas is a higher priority for the 49ers, and it is expected that he will return to San Francisco.