Good news on the injury front for the San Francisco 49ers. Running back Jerick McKinnon is set to move into the next phase of his rehab. McKinnon tore his ACL on September 1st, and had his surgery roughly 11 days later. On Tuesday, he posted this picture on his Instagram story, bidding farewell to the crutches he had been using following surgery.
There is plenty of work ahead for McKinnon as he dives into the rehab process. It will start slow and build into next offseason. He won’t be taking part in practice anytime soon, but will be working further and further into the rehab process with the 49ers trainers. Once the season ends, the 49ers return for the offseason workout program in late April. Given that his injury happened at the beginning of September, he could very well be doing some modest football activities by the time OTAs start in May.
A worthwhile comparison at this point is Jimmy Garoppolo. He suffered his ACL tear on September 23rd, and had surgery on October 3rd. The timelines will not be identical, but with McKinnon losing his crutches roughly six weeks after surgery, Garoppolo might be off crutches in roughly three weeks.
Kyle Shanahan said after the surgery that he hopes Garoppolo will be throwing by the time OTAs arrive. I suspect Garoppolo could be doing more football activities than McKinnon at that point, even though Garoppolo’s injury occurred after McKinnon’s. Both players move around plenty on their legs, but the stress on the knee for a running back doing cutting and maneuvering would seem to be more of an issue than for a quarterback. That’s not a certainty, but it’s something to keep on our radar as we move into the offseason and the workout program approaches.