Donte Whitner: 'Aldon Smith is happy and healthy'

Donte Whitner #31 of the San Francisco 49ers intercepts a pass intended for Brian Quick #83 of the St. Louis Rams in the second half at Edward Jones Dome on September 26, 2013
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San Francisco 49ers safety Donte Whitner believes that teammate Aldon Smith is ready to put his personal troubles behind him having returned to practice this week.

San Francisco 49ers safety Donte Whitner has backed Aldon Smith to move on from his personal troubles having returned to practice this week.

Smith has missed the majority of the current campaign due to his voluntary involvement in an alcohol treatment centre, but the linebacker was restored to the active roster last week and could make his return against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

Whitner believes that the time off was good for his teammate and that he is now ready to focus on his football commitments without other distractions.

"He looks happy and healthy. The key is to move forward and not dwell on the past and [I] think he's ready to do that," Whitner told reporters.

Smith has also expressed his belief that his short break from the team helped him overcome his problems.

49ers linebacker Aldon Smith in action against Green Bay on September 8, 2013
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