Justin Smith will return for at least another season

Justin Smith will return for at least another season
January 30, 2013, 10:45 am

Justin Smith will have offseason surgery at the age of 33, but he plans on playing next year with the 49ers. (AP)

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NEW ORLEANS -- Defensive tackle Justin Smith has a tear of approximately 50 percent of his left triceps tendon, which will require surgery shortly after Super Bowl XLVII.

And, then, his rehabilitation will commence to get ready for the 2013 season.

Yes, Smith will return to the 49ers next season for the final year of the free-agent contract he signed with the 49ers in 2008, he said on Wednesday.

"I'm not going to retire after this year," said Smith, 33, a 12-year veteran. "I would like to come back and try to get here (the Super Bowl) again. I realize my career is definitely winding down. I'm not saying I'm going to play another eight years or something like that. I want to play at a high level."

Smith said he wants to continue to be a top on-field contributor in the NFL while also passing along the information he has absorbed from his time in the league.

"I don't want to just be a backup guy -- a mentor-guy," he said. "I want to help the guys as much as possible, show them all of the stuff I've learned from other guys.

"It's all just passing the torch, everything you learn from the coaching staffs. I want to do that while I'm playing. These guys will be in good hands. I mean, that room is a good group of guys, good football players and a good football coach in (defensive line coach) Jim Tomsula. Any time you've got a Ray McDonald in your room, you've got Issac (Sopoaga) in there, Ricky Jean (Francois) coming up, they are in good hands."