Why Purdy’s elbow surgery could be a ‘blessing in disguise’ originally appeared nbc sports birea
If there’s one area 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy can improve on from his rookie season is his arm strength, his recent surgery may not be such a blow.
“I actually think it might be a little blessing in disguise,” UCSF orthopedic surgeon Dr. Nirav Pandya said on the latest “49ers Talk” podcast.
puree surgery on friday, during which Texas Rangers team physician Dr. Keith Meister performed an internal brace repair of Purdy’s right elbow. Purdy is expected to begin throwing as part of his physical therapy after three months.
Purdy did not undergo full elbow reconstruction, which is common among baseball pitchers, known as Tommy John surgery. Pitchers often come back throwing with more velocity than before surgery.
“A lot of people see pitchers get Tommy John and they come back even better and they think it’s surgery,” Dr. Pandya said. “In fact, it forces you to really rehab and work on mechanics you might never have worked on in the past, and resetting things like that.”
Therefore, Dr. Pandya said he believes that in about six months when Purdy receives full medical clearance to resume playing football, there could be significant improvement in his arm strength.
“I think it gives him an opportunity to work on strength, work on his ability to potentially change his mechanics and come back really strong,” Dr. Pandya said.
“So it’s less about the actual surgery but the fact that you’ve got six months of forced rehab to strengthen and protect his arm, and that gives him an opportunity to get back[stronger].”
Dr. Pandya cautioned that there are a few instances in which quarterbacks have undergone this surgery. One of the known patients was former 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens, who suffered a similar injury late in the 2020 NFL season and appeared in two games with the Cleveland Browns the following season.
Connected: Purdy’s UCL repair successful; QB to throw in three months
The question is how Purdy’s elbow will withstand the rigors of playing football, Dr. Pandya said.
“When pitchers have surgery, no one is coming near them and hitting that arm,” Dr. Pandya said. “That’s what we really don’t know: How will it hold up when he gets hit again in the backfield?
“That would be the only concern. I think he’ll be able to get out there and play, but it’s the physical part of the game that could put him back in Week 1, Week 2, Week 3.