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Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee answered a question today about QB Colin Kaepernick and when he might be expected to be fully cleared to participate in practice with the San Francisco 49ers. "Sometime in the next few weeks. The shoulder is the missing element. The prognosis for a labrum tear is 6-8 months. He had the surgery in the beginning of December, so six months would be the end of May," Barrows responded.
"He started throwing a few weeks ago. He's not yet throwing full-tilt and hasn't been cleared for practice. The question is whether that will occur before the team's most meaningful offseason session, the mandatory minicamp on June 7-9. He is expected to be fully cleared for training camp for sure," Barrows later added.
The competition at quarterback will likely remain as one of the top stories of the 49ers' offseason. Blaine Gabbert has been taking the lead during the 49ers offseason program because he is completely healthy. Although, head coach Chip Kelly insisted on Tuesday that Kaepernick has not fallen behind in the battle. "It's not a race. Today is the first time we're going against the defense," Kelly said.
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"Don't go to sleep on Gabbert. He's done everything right since arriving with the 49ers and his skill set is perhaps even better suited to Kelly's scheme than Kaepernick's," Barrows said during the discussion.
Is there really a quarterback competition or has Gabbert taken too early of a lead within this offense? "I think Kaepernick has to take the job back from Gabbert. That is, the 49ers might say that there's an open competition at quarterback heading into training camp. In reality, Gabbert will be the understood if unspoken starting quarterback going into training camp," said Barrows. "Kaepernick has to make up ground in training camp. The opportunity to do so will be there."
Kaepernick tore a ligament in his throwing hand's thumb during an October 22 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. During his next game, a November 1 matchup against the St. Louis Rams, Kaepernick said that he suffered a bone bruise and cracked cartilage. That game would be his last of the season before being benched in favor of Gabbert and eventually placed on injured reserve.
While none of his injuries are expected to cause long-term issues, he has had surgeries on his left shoulder, thumb, and knee since being placed on injured reserve.