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49ers QB Brock Purdy says doctors could switch to ‘hybrid surgery’

Jan 29, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter in the NFC Championship game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy said doctors could switch to a more complex procedure when he undergoes elbow surgery later this month.

Purdy is scheduled to have his torn UCL repaired on Feb. 22 in Dallas, with the hope that he will return by training camp. The surgery is reportedly set to be performed by Texas Rangers head team physician and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Keith Meister.

Purdy said Thursday that Meister could opt for a “hybrid surgery” that would involve both a reconstruction as well as the internal brace.

“Yeah, that’s Dr. Meister’s call,” Purdy told KNBR radio in San Francisco. “He’s done this year after year with the best of the best with MLB pitchers. So he’s definitely seen this kind of thing happen, and he’s going to make the best call, and not just for the heck of it.

“It’s obviously for the best call for my career moving forward. And he knows what’s best, and he’s going to make the best decision for us, so it’ll be good.”

Should Purdy undergo a more complex surgery, the sixth-month timeline for his return could be extended.

Purdy, 23, suffered a complete UCL tear in his throwing elbow during the NFC Championship Game loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Jan. 29. He was injured on the 49ers’ sixth play from scrimmage on a blow from Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick.

Purdy later had to re-enter the game after backup Josh Johnson sustained a concussion. Purdy only attempted two short passes after returning.

He later told reporters his arm felt “shocks all over from my elbow down to my wrist” and “just pain” when he threw, limiting him to nothing more than 5-yard tosses.

Purdy threw for 1,374 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions in the regular season and went for 332 yards and three TDs in a wild-card win over the Seattle Seahawks. He added 214 yards passing when the Niners edged the Dallas Cowboys 19-12 in the divisional round.

The 2023 quarterback room is expected to belong to Purdy and Trey Lance, with 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan announcing last week there was no “scenario” for the return of free agent Jimmy Garoppolo next season.

49ers tight end George Kittle said that while Lance still has “plenty of talent,” he considers the job Purdy’s to lose.

“Trey Lance is still there, and Trey, unfortunately, has not really gotten a fair shot of being an NFL quarterback yet,” Kittle said on the ‘Von Miller Cast’ at Radio Row at the Super Bowl on Thursday. “You got a full rain-game monsoon versus the Bears and he got hurt in his second game,” Kittle said. “You know, Trey’s still got plenty of talent. He just needs to get out there and play.”

“But, you can’t talk about what Brock Purdy did. He’s fantastic. Our offense was operating at the highest it’s probably been since 2019. So, in my opinion, it’s Brock’s job to lose. But, there will be competition since Brock will be out till training camp with his surgery, so it’s going to be interesting.

“But, when you find a guy like that (who) can seamlessly jump in, I think it’s his job to lose.”

–Field Level Media