Purdy ‘not really sure' if he'll play in 2023 after elbow surgery


Brock Purdy is encouraged by the progress he has made since March surgery to repair the torn UCL in his throwing elbow, but the 49ers quarterback isn't 100 percent certain he'll be able to play in 2023.

Purdy provided updates on his rehab in an exclusive interview with Yahoo Sports' Jori Epstein last week, and was asked if he had any sense if he can play at some point next season. He gave a candid yet surprising response.

"I'm not really sure, honestly," Purdy said. "I think I just got to take it one day at a time, get healthy, start throwing again, things like that and just go from there. It's all going to work out how it needs to."

There is no firm timeline yet for Purdy, who was injured during the NFC Championship Game in January, but the expectation was that he wouldn't throw for three months and then he'd begin a three-month ramp-up period to give him a chance to be cleared by the end of August. That was considered to be one of the better-case scenarios, with Purdy not being ready for Week 1 still a possibility.

Although Purdy can't throw yet, he's encouraged by his rehab and happy to begin training in any capacity.

"Just to be able to get out of the brace, move around more frequently and stuff like that — I know it sounds small, but that’s a big win,” Purdy explained. “That’s how I look at it: Finding little things like that to be positive about and understand you have what it takes to get back to being yourself on the field.

“Conditioning and staying in shape and being thankful to sweat. Those are all things you sometimes take for granted when you’re healthy, but those are big things to be proud of.”

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If Purdy can begin throwing in June and compete for the 49ers' starting job alongside third-year pro Trey Lance and veteran Sam Darnold toward the end of training camp, his recovery will be considered a major success. However, until then, he'll continue to take things just one day at a time.

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