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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana has a strained ligament in his upper groin that "isn't terribly serious," a team physician said Tuesday after receiving the results of a medical test.

A magnetic resonance imaging test -- a high-tech X-ray replacement -- supported Coach George Seifert's assurance Monday that Montana would be ready for the 49ers' NFC playoff opener, which will be Jan. 12 or Jan. 13.

Montana's status for Sunday's regular-season finale against the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis is uncertain.

"I don't think it's going to be terribly serious, but it is uncomfortable," Niners physician Michael Dillingham said.

Dillingham and one of the Niners' other physicians, James Klint, will meet with Seifert and trainer Lindsy McLean today to discuss the best course of treatment, Dr. Dillingham said.

After Montana unexpectedly did not suit up for Sunday's 13-10 loss to the New Orleans Saints, Seifert said it was because of a pulled lower-abdominal muscle that "flared up" Saturday night.

"The MRI unequivocally showed it was a strained ligament, not a muscle pull," Dr. Dillingham said. "It was sort of a mystery. That's why we were vague. All of the speculation that it was an excuse not to play Joe was way off."

Dr. Dillingham said Montana sustained the injury in the Niners' 26-10 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 12.

"He got twisted up in the Rams game," Dr. Dillingham said.

Asked why it might have flared up Saturday night after Montana practiced all week without a problem, Dr. Dillingham said, "I can't give you a great explanation for that."

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