Source: Niners' Purdy now aiming to have March elbow surgery

ByNick Wagoner ESPN logo
Wednesday, February 22, 2023

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy has been waiting for swelling in his right elbow to reduce so he can have the torn ulnar collateral ligament in it repaired.

That procedure was supposed to happen Wednesday in Arlington, Texas. But, after Purdy met with Dr. Keith Meister on Tuesday, the surgery will be delayed further, a source confirmed to ESPN.

Purdy continues to have inflammation in the elbow, which is why Meister recommended that he postpone the surgery until it goes down further. Purdy and Meister are aiming to regroup in early March with the hopes of getting it done then.

NFL Network first reported the delay in Purdy's surgery.

Purdy and the Niners still are hoping that he will have what is known as a "surgical UCL repair augmented with an InternalBrace." The brace is a synthetic "check-rein" implanted alongside the repair to help reinforce the ligament as it heals. That InternalBrace repair comes with a recovery timeline of about six months but would allow Purdy to begin throwing again in about three months with a slow buildup back to full strength.

With the surgery delayed until at least early March, a six-month recovery would put Purdy back on the field sometime in late August. That would be the case if Purdy's elbow doesn't need a sort of hybrid surgery that would require a partial reconstruction in addition to the repair. That determination can't be made until Meister gets a look at the elbow when the surgery begins.

Purdy broached that possibility when speaking to KNBR radio in San Francisco earlier this month, noting the hybrid procedure would require additional recovery time.

"We're going into it thinking the repair with the InternalBrace, for sure," Purdy said. "All the surgeons have said that and that's what we're hoping for and get a six-month recovery in and be ready for [training] camp."

With Purdy slated to miss the entire offseason program, Trey Lance is expected to handle the No. 1 quarterback duties for organized team activities and minicamps. Lance, who is recovering from a broken right ankle, is expected to be cleared to run soon and good to go in time for OTAs.

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