SANTA CLARA — Fans of the 49ers can rest easy now that tight end George Kittle announced his health scare is nothing to worry about heading into Sunday’s NFC Championship game against the Packers.
“I feel fabulous, thanks for asking,” Kittle said Thursday regarding the ankle soreness that kept him out of practice on Wednesday. The All-Pro tight end returned to full particpation in practice on Thursday.
Coach Kyle Shanahan, who is very forthcoming with injury status prior to practices, admitted he was also a little surprised.
“The soreness did a little bit,” Shanahan said. “That’s why I didn't bring it up in here before practice. But, I knew he had some wear and tear from the game, was a little sorer than we thought before practice. So, we held him out.”
Kittle, who leads the team in receiving yards, was a key reason why the 49ers dominated the Packers the last time the two teams met in Week 12. He finished that night catching all six of his targets for 129 yards.
That same night, Kittle’s 61-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was the longest play of the game with 26 of those yards coming after the catch.
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Kittle has played through several injuries over his NFL career including an injury to his rib cartilage for the better part of the 2018 season.
The team continues to be careful with their players, giving them rest when needed so they will be healthy for gameday.
Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers playoff coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (6 p.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday)
Also tune in at 2:30 p.m. Sunday for “49ers Pregame Live,” with Laura Britt, Jeff Garcia, Donte Whitner, Ian Williams and Grant Liffmann previewing the NFC Championship Game against the Packers. That same crew will have all the postgame reaction on “49ers Postgame Live,” starting at approximately 6:30 p.m.