San Francisco 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon has been trying to make his return to the football field since suffering a torn ACL on September 1, 2018. He made a brief cameo in two training camp practices earlier this month before a setback sidelined him again.

McKinnon returned to limited practice this week, and it sounds like the running back had a similar setback, according to what general manager John Lynch said Wednesday morning on KNBR.

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"Because the situation is up in the air, I'm not going to say a whole lot," Lynch said on the "Murph and Mac" show. "I can tell you that again, yesterday (Tuesday), we brought him out, and it's a real bummer because he keeps getting to the final step. And the final step is actually playing NFL football, particularly at his position where you've got to make hard cuts, you've got to put your foot in the ground.

"We did it a month ago, and we got to that step, and he kind of regressed. And I would say yesterday, we had a similar situation. So we're trying to get to really what's the root cause of the problems that he's having.

"Just because he's kind of working through this, we're working it, I'm going to kind of leave it at that, but yesterday was not encouraging from that standpoint. What that means, we're not sure yet, and we're working hard to find that out."

The 49ers signed McKinnon to a four-year deal on March 14, 2018. He was meant to be the featured back within head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense before his injury. Landing on short-term or long-term injured reserve to start the season remains an option for McKinnon.

Short-term injured reserve, of course, would require him to count on the 53-man roster before the designation can be made. That would mean exposing another player the 49ers might intend to re-sign to other teams.

The 49ers offense is slated to feature Tevin Coleman, who was signed this offseason, and Matt Breida as its top running backs this season.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Lynch below.

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