49ers’ Purdy Receives Confirmation of UCL Tear

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy sustained a torn UCL in his right (throwing) elbow, an MRI scan Monday revealed,  NFL Media reported.

Purdy told the media on Wednesday that he has not made a decision on whether he’ll undergo a repair or reconstruction for the elbow injury he suffered in the NFC Championship Game. The reconstruction would result in Tommy John Surgery, which has a timeline for recovery of 9-12 months versus 6-9 months for a repair. He is receiving additional medical opinions and weighing all the information before making a decision on the route he takes for recovery.

Purdy, a rookie who was the last player selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, won his first seven starts for the 49ers, including playoff games against the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys.

He was hit as he threw a pass on the final play of San Francisco’s first offensive series in Sunday’s 31-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship. He returned to the game in the third quarter after Josh Johnson – the fourth quarterback the 49ers have had to play this season – sustained a concussion. Purdy was limited to handing the ball off and one short throw after his return.

Purdy emerged as one of the NFL’s biggest stories this season after he took the reins of a 49ers offense that lost second-year pro Trey Lance to a broken ankle in Week 2 and Jimmy Garoppolo to a broken foot in Week 13. His efficiency placed him among the league’s elite quarterbacks, and he quickly earned the trust of coach Kyle Shanahan, as analyst Marc Trestman of The 33rd Team recently examined in depth

“I can’t believe anybody in the building was thinking Mr. Irrelevant was going to play as well as he did, so there was an element of football lottery luck there,” said analyst Eric Mangini of The 33rd Team.

A natural question for the 49ers now is how will this latest injury affect their planning for the position next season. Garoppolo is about to become an unrestricted free agent, and updates on Lance’s recovery have been sparse. If Purdy’s recovery takes six months and he endures no setbacks or complications, that means an August return, shortly after training camp has started.

Purdy helped the 49ers continue a win streak that stretched to 12 games before the loss at Philadelphia. He passed for 1,611 yards, 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions. 

A torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the elbow is most commonly found in baseball pitchers and other athletes who utilize an overhand throwing motion.

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