SANTA CLARA -- Kyle Williams provided a positive update Tuesday on his recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
"Ran today first time since surgery and felt great #speed," the 49ers' wideout posted on his Twitter account, @KyleWilliams_10.
It's been four months since Williams injured his left knee during a 31-21 win at the Superdome. That injury occurred on the same play in which running back Kendall Hunter tore an Achilles tendon.
Two months ago, both Williams and Hunter returned to the Superdome with the 49ers in preparation for Super Bowl XLVII, and both said they expected to be fully recovered for the start of training camp in late July.
Teammates selected Williams as their winner of the Ed Block Courage Award, which he received with the league's other honorees earlier this month in Baltimore.
Williams basically split time with Randy Moss as the 49ers' No. 3 wide receiver before sustaining the season-ending knee injury. Williams averaged an impressive 15.1 yards per catch (14 receptions, 212 yards, one touchdown).
The three-year veteran will compete for a similar role in 2013, minus Moss, who is a free agent that isn't expected to return. While Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin are projected as the 49ers' starting wideouts, Mario Manningham is recovering from his own ACL tear, which occurred Dec. 23 against the Seattle Seahawks.
Williams also could become a primary return specialist in the wake of Ted Ginn Jr.'s departure for the Carolina Panthers. Williams averaged 27.2 yards on 13 kickoff returns last season, including a 94-yard effort at Minnesota in Week 3.
Despite his dubious history on punt returns in the 2011 team's NFC Championship game loss, Williams might be the 49ers' No. 1 option there this season, if fully healthy. He averaged 13 yards on four returns in the first few games last season before Ginn reclaimed that job; Ginn's lost fumble Nov. 25 at New Orleans pressed Williams into action for two ensuing returns that resulted in fair catches.
A year ago at this time, Williams was putting in a lot of time with then-backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Their on-field bond shined before Williams' knee injury occurred in Kaepernick's second career start