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Alex Smith update

A lot of new information has been flowing in today and I thought it would be worth compiling it here all together. The next major update will probably come on Thursday once the swelling goes down. In the meantime here's what we know about Smith's situation and the type of injury. Consider it a more specific type of link dump. I'm writing this Monday night, but I'll add more links to it tomorrow morning.

Matt Barrows had an informative post about shoulder separations. There is plenty of info out there, but this gives us a good idea about the nature of the injury. Thanks to Kev for finding this one:

A grade III separation - which is what Smith has - means there is actual separation between the two bones, but that the clavicle is still stable. It also means that the ligaments connecting the two have been torn.

...Matrder said a recent studies said that throwing athletes (quarterbacks, pitchers, etc.) tended to do better when surgery was not involved. Marder said it's entirely possible that Smith could resume throwing in two weeks and be ready for action in four weeks. He said a full recovery is usually a four- to six-week process. Four weeks would put Smith on the field for the Oct. 28 home game against New Orleans. Six weeks means he'd be back for the Nov. 12 game against, gulp, Seattle.

Mike Nolan's comments regarding the game and of course the injury in particular.

ESPN's article has some Alex Smith quotes and discusses the best-case scenario:

"They wouldn't put an exact date on it, but yeah, a few weeks," Smith said Monday when asked to estimate his return. "Having the bye week helps, but I'll just push it as hard as I can and try to get back as soon as possible."

"I've taken lots and lots of sacks like that, and if you fall a fraction of a way different, you get up and you're fine," Smith said. "It didn't go very far," he said with a grimace. "I'd like to think I have a little bit of pain tolerance, but I knew something was wrong there."

Matt Maiocco had an updated post. Thanks to Bob in Pacifica for pointing out Maiocco's info on the radio:
Quarterback Alex Smith has his right arm in a sling. He is still feeling pain with his shoulder separation, and he said the worst part was trying to sleep last night.

Smith is scheduled to be re-examined on Thursday after the swelling goes down. There are tears to the AC and CC ligaments in his right shoulder, he said. As for a time frame for Smith's return, it's probably looking more like a 4- to 6-week thing.

Smith underwent X-rays at the stadium, which showed no fractures. This morning, he had an MRI examination. There were only the two torn ligaments, with no damage to the muscle or rotator cuff, Smith said. The ligaments will heal on their own.

Rotoworld doesn't give us much new:
49ers coach Mike Nolan ruled Alex Smith (separated shoulder) out for Week 5 Monday, but says the quarterback shouldn't need surgery.

Smith is out indefinitely, and could miss as many as six weeks, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The Niners expect to set a timetable for Smith's recovery by Thursday. Trent Dilfer will start in the meantime. Oct. 1 - 4:43 pm et

It sounds like Smith could be back anywhere from the Giants game after the bye to the Seahawks game in November. While I think he's clearly the better option than Trent Dilfer, I also don't want him to create a situation where ends up having to go under the knife because he rushed himself back. Besides, how much could he help anyways if our offensive line continues to struggle so mightily?