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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers GM John Lynch says QB Brock Purdy ‘making great progress’

Apr 24, 2023 at 1:14 PM

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The San Francisco 49ers still don't know how long it will take Brock Purdy to return to full health after his recent elbow surgery, but they like what the second-year quarterback has been able to do so far in the weeks following his procedure.

Purdy underwent surgery to repair a torn UCL in his throwing elbow on March 10. The expectation has been that Purdy would have a better idea of a return date 12 weeks after the surgery, so the 49ers don't have any answers just yet as to what his precise timetable will look like. But they like how he's been approaching his recovery process while the rest of the team has been making their way through their offseason workout program.

"Just what we expected," 49ers general manager John Lynch said during his pre-draft press conference on Monday. "He's attacking each day. I think he's focused on each day. (Purdy's surgeon, Dr. Keith Meister) had said that an inflection point will be twelve weeks because that's when he's supposed to start throwing. But right now he's just really focused on maxing each day. I think with rehab, having gone through it myself, there's a physical component to it. There's also a psychological and emotional and mental component and part of that is just waking up and really being where you're at. And I think that's what Brock has done a really good job of."

Footage emerged of Purdy at a San Francisco Giants game last week waving to the crowd and slapping hands with fans using his injured arm. That video was widely interpreted as a positive sign, while Purdy also gave an optimistic update recently when he announced an external brace had been removed from his arm. Lynch told reporters Monday the team has been hearing good news from all around, which adds to the positive vibe.

"A lot of people (reached) out saying the fives at the Giants game were really encouraging," Lynch said. "But I think what's more encouraging is what I'm hearing every day from our people, from Brock. He's making great progress. As I have it, we're six weeks out, just finished that six weeks and really doing a good job with it."

Purdy sustained the injury in the 49ers' NFC Championship loss to the Philadelphia Eagles after unexpectedly leading the 49ers to wins in seven straight starts after taking over for injured former starter Jimmy Garoppolo. Purdy made headlines recently by saying he wasn't sure if he'd even be able to play in 2023, but Lynch downplayed that statement, saying it was more a case of Purdy saying he won't know anything about his status until he's able to get back on the field and see how he feels.

"I think it's more so Brock being Brock and understanding that he's got to be exactly where he's at and it doesn't do him or anyone else a lot of good to be speculating about what's to come," Lynch said. "And Brock's just jumping in each and every day and really doing well."

In the meantime, the 49ers are expected to give offseason reps to Trey Lance and Sam Darnold until Purdy returns. Trade speculation around Lance has picked up recently, but Lynch told reporters he expects to have all three quarterbacks on the roster in 2023. It remains to be seen how the quarterback picture will look once Purdy returns, but the important thing is nothing seems to be standing in the way of him making that return, whenever it may happen.

"He's doing really well and as I understand it, he's definitely on schedule, hitting all the checkpoints and doing very we're very encouraged by his rehab," Lynch said.

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