Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Bosa and Thomas had ‘more extensive’ damage than ACL tears, but surgeon not too concerned

Feb 10, 2021 at 10:27 AM--

Matt Barrows of The Athletic recently spoke with Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who performed the surgeries to repair the torn ACLs of San Francisco 49ers defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas last year. He obviously couldn't reveal details about the surgeries or progress but did tell the reporter that the "damage was more extensive than a simple tear to the anterior cruciate ligament."

What does that mean for both defenders? It means their recoveries may be longer than others. The good news is that both injuries occurred early in the season — during Week 2. Thomas suffered his injury just two plays after Bosa was carted off the field.

"They weren't just straight-forward, isolated ACL injuries," ElAttrache told Barrows. "These were bigger injuries. But they're both ahead of where ordinarily we'd expect them to be. And so they're both going through their initial stages of functional performance training. So it's looking very promising for both of those guys."

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported in September that there was some additional cartilage damage in Bosa's knee, but that wasn't expected to hinder his rehabilitation.

Barrows also notes that ElAttrache is among the top surgeons in the field and has a lot of experience successfully repairing professional athletes' knees, including 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in 2018.

While the recovery rate for ACL patients is far from 100 percent, ElAttrache adds that athletes can return stronger than before the injury because the surgical techniques and rehabilitation process have improved over the years.

"Rehab's been great," Thomas recently said during a Bleacher Report AMA. "I'm tackling it real hard. There's been some ups and downs, but I'm making progress. It's been a lot of great work. I'm in a great place."

Bosa is preparing to enter his third NFL season, while Thomas is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. The latter has not dismissed the possibility of returning to the 49ers and recently stated that he would do so "if the deal is right."

Click here to read Barrows' entire feature over at The Athletic.

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