Brock Purdy

Purdy's UCL recovery was full-circle moment for father Shawn

NBC Universal, Inc.

Brock Purdy's UCL surgery rehab has gone as well as he could have hoped. Thanks, in part, to somebody who is near and dear to his family.

Purdy underwent surgery to repair a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament on March 10 and returned to the practice field with his 49ers teammates this week. Purdy's father, Shawn, joined KNBR 680's "Papa & Lund" on Friday, and discussed his son's rehab and the connection he shares to one of Brock's physical therapists.

"When Brock was giving thanks to everyone that helped him, he said a guy named Keith Coker," Shawn Purdy said. "Keith Coker is a fella that rehabs here in Arizona, and he was a part of my elbow [injury rehab] when I was playing with the [Los Angeles] Angels. I had a tear -- it wasn't as extreme as Brock's. If it's over 50 percent, you can have surgery. If it's 50 percent or less, you can try and rehab it, so we chose to rehab it. Keith was getting started, and I hurt mine in spring training, and by July 4, I was on the mound again. And so immediately, Keith is my first phone call. He was laying out who he suggested, and Dr. [Keith] Meister was right at the top of the list."

The elder Purdy, who was a right-handed pitcher in the Angels and San Francisco Giants' minor league systems, sustained an elbow injury prior to his 1993 season with Los Angeles, and credits Coker for his speedy recovery and a strong finish to the season.

Not only did Brock have a familiar face working with him throughout the rehab process, but he was able to lean on his father, whose similar experience allowed him to offer guidance to his 23-year-old son.

"Being a family of faith, I'm like maybe I got injured back in the day to prepare us for this moment, I don't know," Shawn added. "I also know it was nice to hear from people that were giving me timetables and telling me to be patient with the process. What happens when you get injured, you think that you're watching the parade go by, and then you panic and then you rush things. The bottom line is you've got to get healthy so you can be a part of it."

Having gone through a similar procedure and recovery, Shawn's message to Brock is simple: Be patient.

"The focus is let's go have a good day," Purdy said. "The fact that Brock is throwing a football that's all that matters, and that's what I told him all throughout rehabilitation. Back when we were sitting at a doctor's office finding out what kind of surgery we were going to do, I said, 'Brock, this is going to go really fast. Before you know it, you're going to be at the very end of it.' "

RELATED: Maiocco's 49ers camp observations: QBs struggle on Day 3

Purdy's speedy recovery and his availability for the start of training camp will put him in position to reclaim the 49ers' starting quarterback job. However, without the guidance of Coker -- and his father's advice -- Purdy might be facing a different reality.

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast

Contact Us