Kap diagnosed with torn thumb ligament, surgery possible


Kap diagnosed with torn thumb ligament, surgery possible

SANTA CLARA -- San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said Monday he expects to undergo surgery this week to repair a torn ligament in his throwing hand.

Kaepernick is scheduled to travel to the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado, on Tuesday for an examination and possible surgery that could require approximately three months of recovery time.

The fifth-year player says he injured the thumb during the Oct. 22 home game against Seattle. He was listed on the team’s Week 8 injury report as a full participant in practice with an unspecified “right hand” injury. He was listed as probable for the next game against St. Louis.

He did not appear on the injury report any week following the initial disclosure. But continued discomfort led the team to re-examine his hand, he said.

“I just had an MRI this past week. That’s when we found out the thumb was a problem,” Kaepernick said. “I didn’t have any knowledge up until then. I went with what I was told up until that point and found out this week.

“I’m going to get a second opinion in Vail this week and get confirmation on whether I’ll need surgery or not.”

General manager Trent Baalke could not explain the nearly ten-week span between when Kaepernick's hand injury occurred and this week's diagnosis.

“I can’t answer that," Baalke said on Monday. "There’s a process that these players go through. That would be a better question for our medical staff.

"I’ve got extreme confidence in our medical staff. I think it’s as good as there is. They’ll continue to work with him. He has several things that he’s working through. We’ll get a better grasp of how the rehabs are going and the different things and get him ready for the offseason program. That’s the goal.”

Kaepernick first traveled to the Steadman Clinic in November to undergo surgery on his left shoulder to repair a torn labrum. The 49ers put him on season-ending injured reserve on Saturday, Nov. 21.

CSNBayArea.com reported Kaepernick first told the team he was experiencing pain in his shoulder following the Oct. 4 game against Green Bay.

Kaepernick started the next four games though he never appeared on the injury report with any shoulder issue. Upon returning from the bye week, he told the medical staff he was experiencing strong pain. An MRI revealed a tear in Kaepernick’s left labrum.

He sought a second opinion from Dr. Peter Millett at the Steadman Clinic. A source termed the diagnosis as a “severely torn labrum.” Dr. Millett performed the surgery on Nov. 24.

Kaepernick revealed that while in Vail for his shoulder surgery, he also underwent a procedure to treat a bone bruise in his left knee. Kaepernick says that injury occurred during the Nov. 1 game in St. Louis. The bone bruise also did not appear on the 49ers’ weekly injury reports.

The injury is concerning, Kaepernick says, because it is in the same leg in which he had a titanium rod inserted before the start of his rookie year to help heal a fracture in his lower left leg. Kaepernick revealed the nature of his 2011 surgery for the first time on Monday.

Along with the right thumb, Kaepernick says Dr. Millett will check on his left shoulder during his next visit to Vail. His knee will be re-examined in February. Kaepernick said he is not sure when he will receive full medical clearance to resume football activities.

“They haven’t really given me a particular timeframe,” Kaepernick said. “(At) this point, (I’m) taking it one day at a time trying to do everything I can to be healthy as soon as possible.”

Kaepernick’s current contract with the 49ers is only guaranteed for injury. After April 1, his full salary of $11.9 million for 2016 becomes fully guaranteed.

The 49ers benched Kaepernick after the loss in St. Louis and named Blaine Gabbert the starter for the Nov. 8 game against the Atlanta Falcons.

When asked what Kaepernick’s future with the 49ers is, CEO Jed York said, “I love Colin," but the decision on whether he will remain with the team is not his.

“I’m not going to make any decisions on players,” York said. “A new head coach is going to come in here, and he’s going to evaluate the roster. Right now, I want to make sure Colin gets back healthy.”

“The roster will be left up to the head coach and the general manager.”

When asked if he wants to return to the 49ers, Kaepernick said, “I’m under contract here. I’m doing everything I can to make sure I’m prepared for next season.

“At this point all I’m focusing on is my rehab and making sure I’m healthy.”


Marquise Goodwin stays positive through more family tragedy


Marquise Goodwin stays positive through more family tragedy

SANTA CLARA – Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin revealed another tragedy struck his family this week.

Just five weeks after the death of his unborn child due to complications in pregnancy, Goodwin revealed his biological father passed away last week.

“I’m blessed,” Goodwin said after the 49ers’ 25-23 victory over the Tennessee Titans. “I’ve been dealing with a lot. I’m blessed. I’m thankful for the opportunity. God has shown me so much in this season. I had a lot going on this year losing my baby and I just recently lost my biological father this week.

“It’s just been a lot, but I really didn’t let the outside negative energy affect how I play, how I approach this game or how I come to work each day. I just kind of stayed positive and kept my mind fresh, and I relied on God to bring me through all of the situations that I’ve been through.”

Goodwin has played a key role in the 49ers’ three-game winning streak. On Sunday, he caught a career-high 10 passes for 114 yards in the 49ers’ win over the Titans. In the past three games, Goodwin has 24 receptions for 319 yards.

Goodwin has already posted the best numbers of his five-year NFL career with 51 receptions for 897 yards.

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 25-23 win over Titans

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 25-23 win over Titans

SANTA CLARA -- Three things you need to know about the 49ers’ 25-23 victory over the Tennessee Titans in Week 15 on Sunday:

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has brought something special to the 49ers. The team won just once in its first 11 games of the season. Since Garoppolo took over as the starter, the 49ers are 3-0, including two late-game comebacks.

His performance Sunday was his best, as the 49ers took down the Titans – a team battling for a spot in the AFC playoffs.

The 49ers were trailing by one point with 1:07 remaining and had the ball at their own 25-yard line. Garoppolo immediately completed passes to Trent Taylor, George Kittle and Marquise Goodwin. And the next thing you know, the 49ers had moved 48 yards down the field for the game-winning field goal.

Garoppolo completed 31 of 43 pass attempts for 381 yards and a touchdown. His passer rating was 106.8.

The 49ers are settling for way too many field goals, so all is not perfect. But considering where this team – where this offense – was before Garoppolo arrived on the scene, and it has been a remarkable transformation.

The 49ers rolled up 414 yards of total offense despite a sputtering run game. Garoppolo spread the ball around to nine different receivers – including himself. He made the ill-advised decision to hold onto a ball that came back at him after being deflected at the line of scrimmage. Garoppolo was quickly tackled for a 6-yard loss.

So, yes, he’s not perfect.

As if five field goals and a streak of 19 accurate kicks in a row was not enough, Robbie Gould had to make one more on the final snap of the game to prevent what would have been a heart-breaking defeat.

Gould was true, making a 45-yarder as time expired, to go along with kicks of 38, 48, 28, 50 and 48 yards. He made five field goals two weeks ago against his former team, the Chicago Bears, in a 15-14 victory at Soldier Field.

In the past three weeks, Gould has made 15 field goals – something no kicker has done in NFL history over a three-game stretch.

Gould has made 36 of his 38 field-goal attempts (.947 accuracy) and already is second all-time in club history for made field goals in a season. David Akers made 44 in 2011.

Every game during the 49ers’ three-game win streak there has been someone else who steps up in a big play. Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, however, has been the constant.

Goodwin caught a career-high 10 passes for 114 yards, including an 11-yarder on the field drive that helped get the 49ers into range for Gould’s winning kick. In three games with Garoppolo as the starter, Goodwin has 24 receptions for 319 yards.

But he is not alone.

Tight end Garrett Celek had three catches for 63 yards. Rookie tight end George Kittle had a big 24-yard reception on the final drive and finished with 52 yards receiving. Undrafted rookie wideout Kendrick Bourne contributed four catches for 85 yards.

And on the defensive side, there was no play bigger than DeForest Buckner’s stop of DeMarco Murray on a third-and-2 play for no gain that forced the Titans to settle for Ryan Succop’s 50-yard field goal with 1:07 remaining and ensured the 49ers would have enough time for Garoppolo to work his magic.