San Francisco 49ers quarterback has been working with Health and Performance staff this offseason as he works his way back from the season-ending ACL injury suffered in September. The quarterback completed 53-of-89 attempts (59.6 percent) for 718 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions through three starts before going down with the injury against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Garoppolo spoke with reporters on Wednesday and discussed his progress and what his rehab has been like.

"I think initially probably was the hardest part, the acceptance of everything," Garoppolo said. "The first couple weeks, really, you can't put any weight on it with the meniscus and all that stuff. Probably the first month or two is the worst, but after that, you get running and everything, and you start to feel like yourself again."

Garoppolo will begin throwing in practices and doing some non-contact work when the 49ers kick off organized team activities in late-May. The team hopes to have him ready for Week 1 and possibly even get him in on some limited preseason action.

"I feel like that's more of a mental thing," head coach Kyle Shanahan recently said. "If your body can take it and the doctors say it, and they feel confident with it, I think it's good to go out in a real-game situation and get that confidence because we're not going to let someone tackle [Garoppolo] in practice.

"A lot of times, guys want to go out and get tackled just so they can get that mental breakthrough so when they go into Week 1, they're not thinking about it."

Garoppolo said he expects to wear a brace on his left knee during the upcoming season. Beyond that, the quarterback will play it by ear.

"I wore one initially as a rookie in the NFL, and then I kind of got away from it," Garoppolo said. "I think this year, it's a certainty, but we'll see how it goes down the road."

Garoppolo moved away from wearing a brace early in his career because he wasn't used to playing with one. He believes the braces, which are now lighter, have advanced in recent years.

"It's like you're not wearing anything sometimes," Garoppolo added.

Garoppolo was asked about his Pro Bowl tight end, George Kittle. Chris Biderman of the Sacramento wanted to know how well he is handling his new-found fame following a record-breaking 2018 campaign.

Garoppolo responded, "George who?"

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