Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo expected to have surgery after the season, per Rapoport

Jan 2, 2022 at 9:52 AM--

"I've been told he does not need surgery right now."

That's what San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Wednesday while discussing his injured quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo. The key words in that statement might be "right now."

Garoppolo is not expected to play on Sunday afternoon when the 49ers host the Houston Texans at Levi's Stadium. On Saturday night, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the team is "optimistic" Garoppolo could return for the regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Rams. The quarterback is dealing with a torn ligament and chipped bone in his right thumb.

While surgery is not required right now, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reports that it might be needed once the season is over, with the NFL insider calling the thumb injury "a significant one."

"In fact, sources say that Garoppolo is expected to have surgery following the season to repair the torn ligament and chipped bone in the thumb on his throwing hand," wrote Rapoport. "In rare times, these types of injuries can heal on their own, but sources say this is not the type that can. He is expected to make a full recovery."

Garoppolo did not participate in any of the 49ers' four practices this week, giving all of the starter reps to rookie Trey Lance.

"A significant tear in the UCL in a quarterback's throwing thumb -- which Shanahan described as a Grade 3 sprain -- can essentially prevent a quarterback from gripping a football," Rapoport continued. "Throwing can be painful and difficult."

Lance is expected to make his second NFL start on Sunday, and his first since Week 5. The 49ers selected the quarterback with the No. 3 overall pick after trading several high draft picks to do so.

Rapoport added on-air, "There are some real questions about whether or not Garoppolo will be able to play if the 49ers win and keep going. They hope so, but it is not a certainty."

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