San Francisco 49ers QB Trey Lance has season-ending surgery to repair two injuries to ankle

San Francisco 49ers QB Trey Lance has season-ending surgery to repair two injuries to ankle

Published September 20, 2022
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49ers QB Trey Lance exits the game following an ankle injury in the second quarter. (0:21)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — After suffering a season-ending right ankle injury in Sunday’s 27-7 win over the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance is already on the road to recovery.

The Niners and Lance announced Monday that the quarterback had “successful surgery on his injured right ankle.”

The procedure took place Monday morning at Stanford Hospital and, according to a statement from the team, repaired two injuries to Lance’s ankle: “a fibula fracture and ligament disruption.”

Soon after the operation to repair his broken ankle, Lance took to social media to offer some insight into how he is feeling. In one tweet, Lance posted himself laying in a hospital bed with his right ankle in a cast and a smile on his face.

The caption reads: “I truly appreciate all of the messages and prayers. Surgery was a success and I am ready to attack this rehab process. We will never understand why, but I trust that it’s all a part of His plan. I will be back better than ever. This chapter is going to make the story even greater!”

Truly appreciate all of the messages and prayers. Surgery was a success and I am ready to attack this rehab process. We will never understand why, but I trust that it’s all a part of His plan. I will be back better than ever. This chapter is going to make the story even greater! pic.twitter.com/l5hoBWsLDw

That rehab process will take some time, and a return this season has been ruled out, but Niners team physician Dr. Tim McAdams said in a statement that he is confident Lance will “recover completely in time for a full return in the 2023 season.” Coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday he also believes that Lance will be back in time for the start of the 2023 season.

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In the interim, some of Lance’s teammates visited him in the hospital on Monday afternoon and Shanahan plans to see him soon. From there, Shanahan said the plan for Lance’s rehab hasn’t been set yet but he expects Lance to do it in the Bay Area and be around the team as much as possible.

“As soon as he can get back in here and start rehabbing, we’re going to want him a part of everything,” Shanahan said. “Every meeting he can be at, every practice he can be at. I know he’s not going to be able to do all of that because of how much he has got to rehab but especially in those meetings and stuff, we don’t plan on Trey being away from us at all. Whenever he’s not taking care of his ankle, we plan on him being with us.”

At some point this week, Lance will head to injured reserve this week as veteran Jimmy Garoppolo takes over as San Francisco’s starter, with rookie Brock Purdy stepping in as the backup. The 49ers will also look to add another quarterback to the practice squad at some point.

“We’ll see what’s out there,” Shanahan said. “We definitely need to get a guy in here for practice squad because we need a third man up in case something happens, because he’s one play away from being the backup and he’s two plays away from being our starter.”

Lance’s ankle injury occurred with about 2:20 to go in the first quarter on a second-down zone-read run in which Lance decided to keep the ball rather than hand off to receiver Ray-Ray McCloud. Lance burst up the middle, but Seahawks linebacker Cody Barton met him in the hole after a 2-yard gain.

Lance fell awkwardly and his right ankle appeared to fold underneath him. Lance looked like he was going to get right back up as center Jake Brendel offered a helping hand, but Lance quickly went back down. A cart came out soon after, and Lance was taken to the locker room with his right leg in an air cast after his teammates offered words of encouragement.

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Most of the Niners players and coaches who spoke after the win against Seattle said they knew right away that Lance’s injury was serious.

Those who had been through similar injuries, such as defensive end Nick Bosa (who tore the ACL in his left knee in Week 2 of the 2020 season), offered Lance some perspective.

“It’s the worst part of the game,” Bosa said. “It happens instantly and there’s no going back. Once it happens, you feel like your life is over for a certain amount of time. … Then that [surgery] starts your road back. It’s not going to be easy, but he will be back, and he’ll be fine. It’s just really tough right now.”

Lance wasn’t the only Niner to suffer an ankle injury in Sunday’s game. Rookie running back Tyrion Davis-Price suffered a high ankle sprain in the game, an injury that neither he nor the team knew about until today but will keep Davis-Price out for multiple weeks.

Davis-Price’s injury comes a week after the Niners lost starting running back Elijah Mitchell for about two months because of a sprained right knee. That means, like at quarterback, the Niners will again be in the market for a running back this week.

Starter Jeff Wilson Jr. and undrafted rookie Jordan Mason are the only two healthy running backs on the roster, though veteran Marlon Mack is a candidate to be promoted from the practice squad.