49ers quarterback Brock Purdy will not undergo elbow surgery Wednesday as planned, after all. Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that Purdy had a pre-op visit in Arlington with Dr. Keith Meister and the Texas Rangers team physician recommended postponing surgery because of ongoing inflammation.
Purdy will meet with Meister again in early March.
The quarterback needs surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, and the delay obviously pushes back the timeline on Purdy’s return.
The 49ers are hopeful the injury requires only a repair and not a “hybrid surgery” that also entails some reconstruction. The plan is for an internal brace, which involves screws and sutures to stabilize the ligament, but Meister will determine during surgery if a graft is needed.
The internal brace repair option would keep Purdy out about six months, allowing him to start throwing in three months with a slow, three-month build up. The more intensive surgery would sideline him into the season.
Purdy played as a rookie only because of injuries to Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo. Lance is close to returning, and he and Purdy are expected to compete for the starting job, though Lance will get a head start with Purdy sidelined.
Purdy finished his rookie regular season completing 67.1 percent of his passes for 1,374 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions in seven games. He completed 65.1 percent of his passes for 569 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in three playoff games.
Garoppolo will become a free agent next month, and the 49ers are expected to find a low-cost No. 3 quarterback in free agency. If Purdy’s surgery is more involved than expected, then the 49ers likely will seek a higher-end veteran to pair with Lance until Purdy returns.