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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

‘I’m feeling amazing’: 49ers DT Javon Kinlaw happy with knee’s recovery

Mar 23, 2022 at 3:49 PM--

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Javon Kinlaw, the San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle selected No. 14 overall in 2020, appeared in just four games this past season before undergoing reconstructive surgery to repair his ACL. The good news is that Kinlaw's recovery seems to be going well.

The 24-year old defensive lineman spoke with Brad Graham of TheSFNiners and provided an update on his road to recovery.

"I'm feeling amazing," Kinlaw said. "Really, honest, I've had nothing but ups, no downs. Knock on wood. Everything has been progressing the right way. As far as from a health standpoint, I already feel healthier than I was last year when I was on the field, so I'm just excited to really get back out there and just be able to really showcase what a healthy Javon Kinlaw can do for this organization."

After an offseason procedure last year, things appeared to be trending well for Kinlaw. However, complications emerged and spilled over into the regular season, limiting his availability.

"I just kept having a lot of fluid build up in my knee every week," Kinlaw explained. "We would go in, try to work on it, get it flushed out. It just wouldn't respond the right way. Honestly, I did everything I could. Anybody would tell you that. I did everything I could to put myself into position to play but I just couldn't. I played hurt for so long, I was used to it. But it got to the point where I couldn't really go out there anymore.

"All in all, the rehab process has been cool, the little things I've been working on, a lot of single-leg things, just a lot of bending, that type of stuff. I already got way more knee [flexibility] than I ever had in my life. Hip flexibility—I've got more hip flexibility than I ever had in my life. The things that I do now, I've probably never been able to do in my life, so it's just really exciting."

Kinlaw registered eight tackles through four game appearances last season. That followed a rookie 2020 campaign that saw the defender record 33 tackles, three tackles for a loss, four quarterback hits, 1.5 sacks, an interception, a touchdown, and four passes defended. He's looking to prove his doubters wrong in 2022.

"People, I don't know, it just don't register to people that, 'F--k, I can't play,'" Kinlaw shared. "And when you're out there, and you're trying to do the best you can, they're like, 'Aw, he sucks. This guy sucks. That guy sucks.' Let somebody get healthy before you judge them."


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