SAN FRANCISCO (CBS Sports) — In the 1970s, the idea of rebuilding a physically devastated human was so compelling that it was the basis of a television series The Six Million Dollar Man.

But when the San Francisco 49ers selected South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore in the fourth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday, 131st overall, it was the latest affirmation that was once fiction has become accepted as reality.

Lattimore served notice as a freshman in 2010 that he was a potential future first round pick in the NFL draft when he rushed for 1,197 yards, caught 29 passes for 412 yards and scored 19 touchdowns. But right now this otherwise marvelous 5-foot-11 1/4, 221-pound athlete is unable to play football, but is working hard to be ready as soon as possible.

And, it seems, what is possible with injured players has become almost unbelievable.

Lattimore is an unwilling member in a fraternity of elite running backs who returned or are returning from gruesome and devastating knee injuries. They include Willis McGahee of the Denver Broncos; mew teammate Frank Gore of the 49ers and the Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson, whose phenomenal return to dominance last season with 2,097 yards rushing earns platinum status in this fraternal order.

READ MORE from CBS Sports on the fraternal brothers of rehabilitation…

(Copyright 2013 CBS San Francisco and CBS Interactive. All rights reserved.)


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