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John Lynch: Brock Purdy continuing to evaluate options, 49ers still expect 6-month recovery

Feb 1, 2023 at 12:35 PM


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There was concern that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy might require reconstruction of the torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in the elbow of his throwing arm rather than a repair, lengthening his recovery from about six months to maybe a year. However, nothing has led the 49ers to believe the more extensive procedure is required.

Purdy suffered the injury during Sunday's NFC Championship Game when Eagles pass rusher Haason Reddick hit his arm in the first quarter. He returned to the game in the second half after backup Josh Johnson was ruled out with a concussion, but Purdy could not throw the football, attempting just one pass after the injury.

"Yeah, I think he's continuing to get some different opinions, talk to different people, which I think is smart," general manager John Lynch told reporters during Wednesday's end-of-season press conference. "In an instance like this, there's a lot of smart people out there. You want to make sure you're thorough. He's continuing to go through that process.

"I think the positive bit of news is that it seems to be consistent that the right approach is that one that takes about that six-month mark. Now, everybody will also say you never know until you get in there. Every surgeon will tell you that on every surgery. You always like getting in to see exactly—the MRI tells you a lot of the picture.

"So they're continuing to work through that process, but we seem encouraged by the prognosis that that's kind of where it's at."

A six-month recovery timeframe would make Purdy healthy enough for training camp, something the 23-year-old quarterback is hoping for. Purdy's goal is to be ready for the start of the season.

"If that is the case ... I'll be ready come [training] camp, and honestly, what matters to me most is being able to play for the season," Purdy said on Tuesday.

While Purdy might not be able to practice with his teammates for six months, the ramp-up to getting ready will start considerably sooner, maybe as soon as three months from when the surgery takes place.

"That was a cool thing for me to hear about," head coach Kyle Shanahan said, "that once three months is over, they start the rehab of just building the arm back slowly, and by six months, it's built back. And that's when I start to ask questions. 'Does that mean ease him in and stuff like that, like you would think of ACLs and things like that?'

"And they said, 'No, the build-up's been from three to six. And at six months, he is the same dude and full go.' So that was the most encouraging part that I heard."

Purdy finished his rookie regular season completing 67.1 percent of his passes for 1,374 yards, 13 touchdowns, and four interceptions through the seven games in which he threw a pass, including his five starts. The rookie had a passer rating of 107.3, which led the NFL among quarterbacks with more than 21 pass attempts.

Purdy completed 65.1 percent of his passes for 569 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions through three playoff games.

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