Thumb injury complicates Kaepernick's future

There's a new twist to the Colin Kaepernick saga that could impact his future with the 49ers.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said on Monday he might require surgery after an MRI revealed ligament damage on his right thumb suffered Oct. 22 against the Seahawks.

Kaepernick had his thumb wrapped after the game and showed up on the injury report leading into the next week's game against the Rams. Since then, he said continued pain in the thumb led to an MRI, which revealed the injury.

"It's been recommended surgery and get confirmation on whether I'll need surgery or not," he said. "We'll get it fixed as soon as possible. They haven't given me specific dates as far as how long it will be."

A potential thumb procedure would be Kaepernick's second surgery since being placed on season-ending injured reserve in November after it was discovered a he suffered a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. He will travel to Vail, Colorado, where he had surgery on his shoulder, to get his thumb evaluated further, and he could have surgery as soon as this week.

After sigining a lucrative six-year contract extension prior to 2014, Kaepernick's $11.9-million base salary becomes fully guaranteed for injury April 1 for injury only. If surgery on his thumb prevents him from passing a physical at the start the new league year, San Francisco will be on the hook for his salary.

"For me, that's not a date I'm concerned with," Kaepernick said. "I feel like I'm going to be playing football regardless of April 1, April 2. I'm doing everything I can to be healthy as soon as I can."

Former head coach Jim Tomsula benched Kaepernick after starting the season 2-6 while running the league's least productive offense. Kaepernick completed 59 percent of his passes, 30th in the NFL, and had the league's 31st-ranked passer rating of 78.5. He threw six touchdowns with five interceptions, and was sacked 28 times.

"I’m under contract. I’m a 49er. I’m doing everything I can to make sure I’m prepared for next season,” Kaepernick said.

Before Kaepernick's thumb injury was revealed, it was believed he would not return to the 49ers in 2016. But now that the team is in the market for a new head coach, Kaepernick's future remains unknown.

General manager Trent Baalke on Monday said he wasn't concerned about Kaepernick's financial impact on the team and his uncertain future with the organization.

"I’m not worried about April 1 to be honest with you," Baalke said. "I’m more worried about getting him healthy and getting him ready for the offseason program. Whatever that date is that the medical staff steps up and says, ‘Look, he’s ready to go.’ That’s when he’ll go."

Despite having the worst season of his pro career, Kaepernick says he's still finding ways to improve himself.

"I continue to get stronger, continue to be a better man and be a better man for the people around me," he said.


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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said on Monday he might require surgery after an MRI revealed ligament damage on his right thumb suffered Oct. 22 against the Seahawks.

Kaepernick had his thumb wrapped after the game and showed up on the injury report leading into the next week's game against the Rams. Since then, he said continued pain in the thumb led to an MRI, which revealed the injury.

\"It's been recommended surgery and get confirmation on whether I'll need surgery or not,\" he said. \"We'll get it fixed as soon as possible. They haven't given me specific dates as far as how long it will be.\"

A potential thumb procedure would be Kaepernick's second surgery since being placed on season-ending injured reserve in November after it was discovered a he suffered a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. He will travel to Vail, Colorado, where he had surgery on his shoulder, to get his thumb evaluated further, and he could have surgery as soon as this week.

After sigining a lucrative six-year contract extension prior to 2014, Kaepernick's $11.9-million base salary becomes fully guaranteed for injury April 1 for injury only. If surgery on his thumb prevents him from passing a physical at the start the new league year, San Francisco will be on the hook for his salary.

\"For me, that's not a date I'm concerned with,\" Kaepernick said. \"I feel like I'm going to be playing football regardless of April 1, April 2. I'm doing everything I can to be healthy as soon as I can.\"

Former head coach Jim Tomsula benched Kaepernick after starting the season 2-6 while running the league's least productive offense. Kaepernick completed 59 percent of his passes, 30th in the NFL, and had the league's 31st-ranked passer rating of 78.5. He threw six touchdowns with five interceptions, and was sacked 28 times.

\"I’m under contract. I’m a 49er. I’m doing everything I can to make sure I’m prepared for next season,” Kaepernick said.

Before Kaepernick's thumb injury was revealed, it was believed he would not return to the 49ers in 2016. But now that the team is in the market for a new head coach, Kaepernick's future remains unknown.

General manager Trent Baalke on Monday said he wasn't concerned about Kaepernick's financial impact on the team and his uncertain future with the organization.

\"I’m not worried about April 1 to be honest with you,\" Baalke said. \"I’m more worried about getting him healthy and getting him ready for the offseason program. Whatever that date is that the medical staff steps up and says, ‘Look, he’s ready to go.’ That’s when he’ll go.\"

Despite having the worst season of his pro career, Kaepernick says he's still finding ways to improve himself.

\"I continue to get stronger, continue to be a better man and be a better man for the people around me,\" he said.

Follow @ChrisBiderman

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