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NFL Network Insider Reports Brock Purdy likely needs elbow surgery

Brock Purdy tore his ulnar collateral ligament on this hit by Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick. | Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers’ fans worst fears were confirmed on Monday afternoon when NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero tweeted that quarterback Brock Purdy suffered a complete tear of his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) during the first quarter of Sunday’s NFC Championship loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The injury, which occurred on a strip sack by linebacker Haason Reddick, forced Purdy out of the game. He reentered in the third quarter when his backup, Josh Johnson, suffered a concussion, but Purdy attempted just two more passes, even with his team trying to come back from a double-digit deficit.

It’s a common injury for baseball pitchers, one that typically requires Tommy John surgery to reconstruct the ligament, either with a tendon from elsewhere in the body or from a donor. Typical recovery time is in the 12-18 month range.

Pelissero went on to add that Purdy will seek a second opinion before opting for surgery. If he can repair his elbow without the procedure, he’d be ready for the start of training camp in six months. Most baseball players who try to avoid the surgery end up needing it anyway—the one recent notable exception is Masahiro Tanaka, who recovered without any procedure when he pitched for the New York Yankees.

Moments later, ESPN insider Adam Schefter tweeted that Purdy would be sidelined for just six months, but later added the team is recommending surgery.