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Kyle Shanahan hoping George Kittle can start practicing ‘a little bit’ this week, maybe Jimmy Garoppolo next week

Dec 14, 2020 at 3:31 PM--

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San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters on Monday and provided updates on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and tight end George Kittle. Garoppolo is recovering from a high-ankle sprain, while Kittle is recovering from breaking his foot's cuboid bone. Both have been out since Week 8.

"We've had a number of high-ankle sprains on our team this year, but Jimmy's was definitely the worst," Shanahan said. "That's why we thought he was going to need surgery for a little bit, but he didn't. That's why he needs longer rest than most of the people. But Jimmy won't be back this week for practice.

"I'm hoping to get Kittle into practice a little bit this week. We'll see about Jimmy, if he's ready for some practice the following week. But I think this week, we have a chance at Kittle for practice, and that's it."

The 49ers have just three games remaining on their schedule, and at 5-8, their playoff chances are a long shot. Shanahan was asked if he is confident that Garoppolo will play again this season.

"I wouldn't say I'm confident," the coach responded. "I think it's up in the air. I'm waiting to hear from the doctors. It's something that, when you have the high-ankle sprain that he had, that was worse than everyone else's, and it was so close to surgery, the only way we're going to put him out there (is) if he's completely healed and not going to risk him having to get surgery on it.

"I don't want to put him out there for a last game or a last two games for him to have a chance of re-injuring it and have to have surgery in the offseason. Until the doctors tell me that there's no chance of that, and that has to do with Jimmy pushing himself like he has been doing, having no soreness and things like that, that's when we'll do it. That's why it is a week-to-week thing right now. I mean, we've gotten over the hump, but it is a risk, and we're not going to do it if there is a risk.

"We feel, talking to Jimmy and the doctors, there's a risk this week, so we'll put it off another week, see how it goes. He's rehabbing — him and George — as hard as anyone can, and then we'll re-evaluate it next Monday."

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