#49ers also listed DE Justin Smith (torn triceps) as doubtful. In truth, he’s really, really doubtful for Sunday and the playoffs.
— Ron Kroichick (@rkroichick) December 28, 2012
Amidst the negative rumors, we have some positive news according to Matt Barrows.
Justin Smith said today he’ll be ready to play if the playoffs started next week for the 49ers.
— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) December 28, 2012
The chances of Justin Smith returning are seemingly become slimmer by the day. On Thursday, we heard that Justin Smith’s injury was a lot more serious then originally expected, as a source told the Sacramento Bee that he has partially torn triceps.
Then today, a timetable for this type of injury was revealed.
According to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle, Smith might not play again until 2013. That is, if orthopedic Dr.David Chang’s estimation of 12 weeks is correct. This estimate would be if he wanted to be “game ready,” as Chang describes the situation.
Here’s what change had to say (via the San Francisco Chronicle)
“Power, elite athlete” such as Smith, surgery is preferred. The healing process, he wrote, “takes 6 to 8 weeks followed by rehabilitation for another 6 to 8 weeks. We’re talking about 4 months to return to game readiness.”
Obviously, the 49ers would prefer to prolong this surgery until the offseason. Still, Chang says that prolonging surgery wouldn’t “accerlate Smith’s timeable to get back on the field, even if at least 50 percent of his triceps are intact.”
Chang also said:
“Even with a 50% tear, minimum time of healing is 6 weeks and rehab would have to ensue,” Chang wrote. “So time back is not any shorter without surgery.”
Basically, surgery will be required at some point, and is probably the best route to take. If Smith were to skip surgery now, though, would he be effective enough to play?
Only a doctor and Smith himself could answer that intimidating question, but it surely wouldn’t seem like it.