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George Kittle to Return to Practice, 49ers Not 'Confident' in Jimmy Garoppolo's Status

Kyle Shanahan spoke with the media on Monday following San Francisco's disappointing loss against the Washington Football Team and offered some encouraging news on the team's star tight end.

George Kittle has been working his way back from a fracture in his foot suffered in Week 8. The tight end made the trip along with the team to Arizona as the team has been encouraged by his rehab. Shanahan revealed that the tight end has a chance to rejoin the team at practice this week for the first time in five weeks.

There's no word on whether Kittle will be on hand for the 49ers Week 15 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, but nonetheless, it's a step in a positive direction for the star tight end.

As for Jimmy Garoppolo, the quarterback is continuing his rehab. It's not likely he will return to practice this week given the severity of his ankle injury.

"We've had a number of high-ankle sprains on our team this year, but Jimmy's was definitely the worst," Shanahan said. "That's why we thought he was going to need surgery for a little bit, but he didn't. That's why he needs longer rest than most of the people. But Jimmy won't be back this week for practice.

"We'll see about Jimmy if he's ready for some practice the following week."

The team is opting to err on the side of caution with Garoppolo's return. Shanahan said the 49ers are consulting with team doctors on the best route for the quarterback to avoid any setbacks in his pending return.

"I wouldn't say I'm confident. I think it's up in the air," Shanahan said. "I'm waiting to hear from the doctors. When you have the high-ankle sprain that he had, that was worse than everyone else and it was so close to surgery, the only way we're going to put him out is if he's completely healed. I'm not going to risk him having to get surgery on it. I don't want to put him out there for a last game or last two games for a chance of re-injuring and have to have surgery in the offseason.

"Until the doctors tell me that there's no chance of that, and that has to do with Jimmy pushing himself like he has been doing - having no soreness and things like that, that's what we'll do it. That's why it is a week-to-week thing right now. We've gotten over the hump, but it's a risk and we're not going to do it if there's a risk."

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