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SANTA CLARA, CA - A person with direct knowledge of Mike Iupati's injury says the San Francisco 49ers left guard sustained a sprained ligament in his left knee Sunday and it isn't considered to be season-ending.

An MRI this week revealed the sprained medial collateral ligament, and Iupati isn't expected to need surgery, the person said Wednesday, requesting anonymity because the 49ers didn't reveal specifics on what happened to Iupati. He was carted off in the third quarter of a 23-20 loss at New Orleans.

He was hurt when running back Frank Gore got tackled into the back of Iupati's left leg.

The 26-year-old Iupati, a staple in San Francisco's veteran O-line, has started every game since the 49ers selected him 17th in the 2010 NFL draft out of Idaho.

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