Aldon Smith grateful for time off

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith admits that his recent absence from the team was "good" for him as he overcame personal troubles.

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith has admitted that the time he spent away from football was "good" for him.

Smith has missed the last five weeks after voluntarily receiving treatment for alcohol abuse, but the 24-year-old was restored to the active roster last week and took part in practice for the first time since his return yesterday.

Smith acknowledged that it was important for him to step away from the game for a short period, but now believes that he is on his way back to his best.

"Of course, I didn't want to be away from the sport I love, but it was good for me to get away and get my mind together," Smith told reporters.

"I'm getting there. Every day is just a step closer to where I want to be. It's about bettering myself."

Smith has 4.5 sacks in his three matches so far this season and also leads the NFL with 38 sacks since he entered the league in 2011.

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