49ers coach Kyle Shanahan updates QB Brock Purdy’s return timeline

Shanahan gives update on Purdy’s post-surgery return timeline originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

PHOENIX — Kyle Shanahan is content with both the best- and worst-case scenarios for Brock Purdy’s return from surgery on his ulnar collateral ligament.

The 49ers coach spoke Tuesday at the NFL Annual Meeting, and shared what he knows about the timetable of his quarterback’s return.

“He won’t be able to do anything on the field for, who knows,” Shanahan said. “I think it can go anywhere from six months to eight months. It’s all open like that. We will have a better idea, they say, at three months out of surgery of whether it will be six months or eight months.

“I don’t know, it’s how it heals, and I’m sure I’ll get lots of questions, but that’s all I know and I’m pretty good with that.”

Purdy underwent successful “internal brace” surgery on his throwing elbow on March 10, which would put his three-month health evaluation in early June. If he’s on schedule in the healing process, he could start throwing the ball soon after that.

While the 23-year-old will not be able to participate on the field at that time, the hope is Purdy’s ramp-up to full participation will occur in early September. The best-case scenario would be a return to team activities at some point during training camp.

“We start Phase 1 [on April 17] and I expect everyone back at that time,” Shanahan said. “I think he will do his rehab down here, and then I’m sure he will move it to us.

“We’ll see in three months if he can be ready for camp, or if not, could possibly say that it’s going a little slower, it might be Week 1. I’m hearing at the latest Week 4, but that’s just all estimations, and we will see what happens.”

Until Purdy can return to action, Trey Lance and newly signed free agent Sam Darnold will hold down the fort on the offense. Shanahan did share that the 49ers will need to add another quarterback to their 90-man roster until Purdy — who broke out in his rookie season with 1,374 passing yards and 13 touchdowns with four interceptions, and didn’t lose a start until the NFC Championship Game  — can participate.

RELATED: Lynch excited for healthy Kinlaw in 49ers’ D-line rotation

Maybe most important is Purdy’s mental health, as he navigates returning from the first significant injury of his football career. Shanahan has kept in touch with the Iowa State product and reported that he’s doing well, and can’t wait to get back on the field with his teammates.

“He’s great,” Shanahan said. “He’s got to be patient with it. It was nerve-wracking how long he had to wait for the surgery, because you never know for sure until they open you up and look at it. I know that was tough on him.

“I know once he got out of the surgery and they said it was clean, I know that took a lot of anxiety off of him. Now he’s just ready to get at it and get back on schedule. And hopefully, that’s training camp.”

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