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Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports


49ers’ Brock Purdy undergoes successful surgery, 6-month recovery anticipated

Mar 10, 2023 at 9:41 AM


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According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Media, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy has undergone successful surgery to repair the tear of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow, an injury sustained on January 29 during the NFC Championship Game. Dr. Keith Meister, the Texas Rangers team physician, performed the surgery. The quarterback is expected to require about six months to recover, which is the best-case scenario for which the 49ers were hoping.

The quarterback will have to wait about three months before he can start throwing again. He will then ramp up his workload over the following three months.


"San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy underwent successful surgery with renowned specialist Dr. Keith Meister this morning," the 49ers later said via a statement. "Dr. Meister conducted an internal brace repair to Purdy's right elbow. Purdy is anticipated to start a throwing progression program in three months."

Purdy's surgery was initially scheduled for February 22. However, Dr. Meister recommended postponing the procedure due to continued inflammation in the quarterback's elbow.

"That's a tough decision to make, but I really appreciate the courage and the conviction to make that decision," general manager John Lynch said last week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. "It's all about the best outcome. Is it ideal? No. You want, for a variety of reasons—time being number one—you want every waking minute that you have. But ultimately, he's 22 years old.

"We want the best outcome, and that's what Dr. Meister made, a really tough decision, and we're very appreciative, and he's done thousands of these surgeries, and when you have all the swelling out, when you have all the stiffness out, is when he's had the best success with the outcomes."

Unfortunately, the six-month recovery time sets the quarterback's potential return for early September, forcing him to miss the entirety of the offseason. Because of that, third-year quarterback Trey Lance will likely be the uncontested Week 1 starter.

There was a possibility that Meister might alter the plan—a repair with an internal brace—based on what was found once surgery started. If necessary, the surgeon might have opted for a hybrid procedure involving a reconstruction with the internal brace. That would have increased his recovery time by at least one to three months.

"There's this backup plan of having a hybrid surgery, which means a little bit of the graft, and then an internal brace, which can be anywhere from seven to nine months," Purdy explained during the week leading to Super Bowl 57.

Luckily, it sounds like that backup plan was not necessary.

The 23-year-old quarterback stepped in for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo during Week 13, winning that game and continuing as the starter.

Purdy finished this past season winning seven consecutive starts, including the playoffs, until the injury occurred. The Philadelphia Eagles advanced to Super Bowl 57 after beating the handicapped 49ers, who lacked a healthy quarterback to throw the football. Purdy's backup in the game, Josh Johnson, exited due to a concussion.

Purdy finished his rookie regular season completing 67.1 percent of his passes for 1,374 yards with 13 touchdowns and four interceptions. He added 569 passing yards with three touchdowns in the playoffs but only managed four passing attempts in the NFC Championship Game.

Returning from a season-ending ankle injury, Lance is expected to be full-go in time for organized team activities (OTAs) in May.

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