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Nick Bosa’s knee surgeon: Injury “bigger” than a simple ACL tear

I’m worrying over nothing. Right? Right?

Carolina Panthers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

They say that idle hands are the devil’s workshop. With 34 days until the new league year on March 17th, my brain needs something to noodle over to pass the time. Unfortunately for me, that something was an article from Matt Barrows of The Athletic. Barrows interviewed the surgeon who repaired the knees of both Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas this season. While the interview's main point was that both Bosa and Thomas are ahead of schedule in their rehab, a couple of other things in the story have me worried.

For one thing, it says multiple times that both injuries were more than just a simple ACL repair. The words “more extensive” and “bigger injuries” were used. This corroborates reporting at the time that cited cartilage damage in addition to torn ligaments for Bosa. Second, the story points out that a study from last year revealed that only 67.2% of people who tear their ACLs return to the field. Granted, that isn’t likely to be Bosa, but I’d certainly like that number to be a lot higher when talking about one of the 49ers’ most important players.

One other thing that’s giving me agita is the fact that most players who sustain this type of injury don’t feel like they’re all the way back until the year after they return. In Bosa’s case, that will be the start of year four, a.k.a. the first time he’s eligible to get a new contract from the 49ers. If Bosa wants a new deal at that time but is coming off of a down season, how can the 49ers feel comfortable paying him big money without truly knowing the level of production they’re going to receive in return?

Levin Black and I dove into that conundrum in today’s Niners Nation Gold Standard podcast, which you can hear in the player below or anywhere podcasts are found. We’d also appreciate a five-star rating and a review while you’re at it.

Other thoughts in the episode

  • Is Kyle Shanahan better at creating game plans than he is at scouting quarterbacks?
  • Would the team be better off if someone else made the final call on Jimmy G.’s replacement if they decided to move on?
  • Your questions (beyond QB) from the Niners Nation mailbag