Despite an initial delay to his offseason surgery, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy is officially on the road to recovery. The 49ers seventh-round draft pick suffered a season-ending UCL tear in his throwing arm during the NFC Championship Game versus the Philadelphia Eagles. Purdy was originally scheduled to undergo his repair surgery in late February, but swelling and inflammation to the arm pushed his procedure back to the start of the next month.
Last week, general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan provided updates on Purdy at the NFL Annual League Meeting, saying the young quarterback was in good spirits and diving into the early stages of physical therapy. Neither provided a timeline for recovery for their signal caller, however, both are looking ahead to a three-month post-surgery benchmark. The expectation is that Purdy will be able to begin a throwing program at that time and his medical team will be able to form a more solid timetable for return.
Purdy also spoke last week on the "Roc and Manuch with Jimmy B Show" on Fox Sports 910 Phoenix, detailing the day of the procedure.
"I went in, had surgery first thing in the morning," Purdy said. "The next couple weeks is all about getting your range of motion. That's where I'm at right now. Scars are, everything is healed up from the stitches. I'm just working on my range of motion, and I'll start throwing at three months."
The 49ers QB is rehabbing in Arizona and has been spotted wearing an extensive arm brace. Pictures of what Purdy has called his "robotic arm" have made their way onto social media.
"When you first get into it after surgery, you're in 90 degrees and then you can start opening it up to help with your range of motion," Purdy added. "All it is, it's to keep your arm safe when you're out walking around or doing therapy... But yeah, out in public it looks like I have a robotic arm."
Purdy's injury derailed an otherwise historic run by the 49ers rookie quarterback. After stepping in mid-game for Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 13, Purdy went on to start eight games for San Francisco, winning seven of those contests, and helped lead the team to its third appearance in the conference championship over the last four seasons. He completed 114-of-170 passes for 1,374 yards and 13 touchdowns in the regular season and connected on another 41-of-63 passes for 569 yards and three touchdowns in the playoffs. He also added a rushing touchdown in both the regular season and postseason.
The 49ers have taken an active role in the quarterback's recovery process while Purdy does his first portion of rehab from Arizona with other specialists. The quarterback reiterated the importance of the three-month post-surgery benchmark mentioned by Lynch and Shanahan.
"The protocol is you start throwing at three months, but it all depends on how your therapy and range of motion goes up until that point," Purdy said over the air. "There are definitely some boxes I have to check off first until I get to that point. That's the plan as of now."
As he works on getting physically right for the season, Purdy is also throwing himself into film studies.
"The last month or so, I've been just watching some games, and going back to the basics of the playbook," Purdy told the Rob and Manuch hosts. "I've been going back to the basics of the playbook, my reads and my footwork and even formations and motions and things like that."
As it stands, the 49ers have only one fully healthy quarterback on the roster, which is the newly signed Carolina Panther free agent Sam Darnold. Former first-round pick Trey Lance is also working his way back from a season-ending ankle injury from last season. However, Lance is expected to be cleared for return in time for the team's offseason programming. With no starter named by Shanahan, all three signal callers are expected to compete for the job during offseason workouts and training camp.