Charvarius Ward

Ward feels good after surgery, wants to ‘stick around' with 49ers

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SANTA CLARA — On Tuesday, 49ers cornerback Charvarius Ward revealed that he had been dealing with a core muscle injury for multiple years.

The All-Pro was on the side field doing rehabilitation work during mandatory minicamp and expects to be back on the field for training camp. Ward detailed when he had the realization that surgery couldn’t wait any longer.

“I’ve had this injury for almost four years now, dating back to when I was in KC,” Ward said. “It just started to get a little worse over time, you know, the grind of a football season. It started wearing my body, so I felt like I needed to get it done.

“I feel good. Back running, doing DB drills. Everything I need to be doing leading up to training camp, so I think I’ll be ready Day 1 of camp.”

Ward and teammate George Kittle both had core muscle surgery performed by the same doctor within a week of each other, but unlike Kittle, Ward wasn’t as affected by the injury on the field.

“I was balling the second half of the season, so it really didn’t take much of a toll,” Ward said. “I didn’t seem like it. [It was] just my day-to-day life. Just sitting down, my lower back started to hurt. Driving a car, sitting in the car for a long period of time, my body was just aching doing that.

“Once my back started to hurt, I’m only in my mid-20s. I felt like I was 35-40, damn near. I had to get it done when that started happening.” 

Ward’s play definitely did not drop off during the 2023 NFL season, registering a league-high 23 pass breakups along with five interceptions — one for a touchdown. The star defensive back is looking to capitalize on more opportunities in the coming season, turning more of his pass breakups into interceptions.

Racking up higher stats would be a benefit not only for the team but for Ward’s own future. He's entering the last season of his three-year, $40.5 million contract with the 49ers and will become an unrestricted free agent. 

“I’d like to stick around,” Ward said of his future. “I feel like it’s a good team; they love me here. I love being here. I love my coaches and love my teammates, but I’ll just let my agent handle it. That’s the business side of things.

“I’m just going to do my job, go out there and ball, put the pressure on them and hopefully they give me a bag. If they don’t, I know it won’t be any bad blood between me and them; it will be a business decision. I’m pretty sure they would like to have me, and I’d like to stay for sure.”

Both Ward and counterpart Deommodore Lenoir will be free agents after the 2024 season, and the 49ers' front office will be forced to make some very tough decisions.

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