San Francisco 49ers fans and players alike are not going to be laying off on discussions about Jimmy Garoppolo’s knee injury. An ill-advised cut in the final moments of Week 3’s contest against the Kansas City Chiefs is all that was needed to put the quarterback and the optimism out of commission, at least for a while.
Current starting quarterback C.J. Beathard said on KNBR Wednesday morning that Garoppolo left the team on Tuesday to have his surgery, and will return to the team in a couple weeks. The surgery is just now happening because Garoppolo needed to wait for swelling to go down.
Most know what gist ACL injury entails, or at least how debilitating it can be. For some athletes these are career-ending. But what exactly is Garoppolo’s situation in relation to the injury? What’s the surgery? What causes this?
A great post over at The Injury Insight goes over all of it and lays it out with Garoppolo in mind. For starters, they go over how exactly the injury happened, bringing up how Garoppolo planted his foot wrong to start everything.
They then go into the actual surgery, how common it is, and because of that how surgeons are well prepared to handle it. They even brought up the timeline to Garoppolo’s return:
Generally, the consensus amongst medical providers I’ve spoken to is the longer the timeline the better – it allows for the ACL graft to heal more and for the player to reduce side to side asymmetries which is a key indicator of injury risk. It would be very prudent of the Niners to let Jimmy G take his time but I expect he’ll be back on the field in nine or ten months, barring any setbacks (the most recent example is Carson Wentz who returned in a little over nine months).
The good news is Garoppolo injured his knee earlier in the season. 10 months may not get him at the front door at the start of training camp, but it would get him in for possibly the middle of it depending on how recovery is going. The article says it’d be by OTAs, but if you’re taking the 10-month timeline, he may not yet be ready—but everyone is different.
Also, while there’s a 25 percent chance of re-injuring a torn ACL, this article points out that for a quarterback, the odds are in Garoppolo’s favor to not re-injure the ligament.
A research study specifically looked at NFL QB’s recovering from a torn ACL and it found that 92 percent returned to play with only one re-injuring the ACL and needing a re-repair. Additionally, the study found that these QB’s performed just as well after the ACL injury as they did before AND there was no difference between these QB’s who tore their ACL and their injury free counterparts.
Start the timer.
There’s a lot of good things to take from this analysis and it is far more credible than any speculation we could write, so give it a read to learn all about this injury and what to expect.