Rattay upbeat after arm injury

Don't worry about me or my arm, Tim Rattay said late Wednesday afternoon after watching the 49ers conduct another practice without him. Rattay said "nothing's really wrong" with his swollen right forearm – given the seal of approval earlier in the day by a MRI exam that revealed no ligament or soft tissue damage – and he's already quickly on the mend. Just the same, considering his luck avoiding injuries the past three months, Rattay said, "I guess I won't be going to Vegas any time soon."

That comment characterized Rattay's upbeat mood as he talked for the first time about his latest physical setback, although this one is considerably mild compared to the serious groin tear he suffered in May.

Rattay, in fact, said he felt he'd be ready to return to some practice drills by the end of this week, although the team already has announced it will keep him out of practice until next Monday as a precaution.

"It's just some inflammation, not a tear or anything like that," Rattay said. "It's just normal camp (soreness), but it escalated a little further this time. I just have to monitor it and it should be fine. I'll get it fixed and get back out there."

Rattay noticed pain creeping up the inside of his throwing forearm Monday. Though the pain persevered after he iced it between practices, Rattay gritted out Monday's non-padded afternoon session because coaches allowed him to participate in 11-on-11 two-minute drills. He has been held out of padded 11-on-11 drills during morning sessions as part of the plan to bring him back slowly from his groin injury.

"It was hurting pretty good, but I really wanted to do two-minute, and I was able to get in there and adrenaline through it," Rattay said.

But when he woke up Tuesday morning, his forearm was sore and swollen. He didn't practice that day and had an MRI exam before Wednesday's practice.

"The good news is it feels a ton better today than it did (Tuesday)," Rattay said. "It's the kind of thing where, If I had to go, I could go."

Rattay is busy rehabbing the arm, icing it "20 times a day" and doing exercises specific to his forearm. "I have all kind of gadgets in (the training room) that I can put on it, basically stuff to increase blood flow and get it out," he said. "It's really responding well to stuff we did and it's feeling really good."

Rattay said his arm has gotten sore in training camp before, but it usually gets better after a day or two of ice. One theory why his problem persisted and inflamed this time is that he might be doing something in this throwing motion to compensate for his legs and groin, which still are not at 100 percent yet.

"Probably the first two practices, I was dropping (back) but maybe not dropping full speed," Rattay said. "I was kind of just feeling my way around. So there was possibly over-compensation with my arm, throwing-wise. The last three or four practices, my drops were really good and I felt smooth and I was using everything. But by then, it might have been a little sore from that."

While he didn't practice or throw Wednesday afternoon, Rattay was busy on the side working with Jerry Attaway, the team's physical development coordinator. Attaway put Rattay through some strenuous drills that had him dropping back and making spontaneous movements in different directions.

"We did a lot of that and it felt really good," Rattay said. "My legs feel great. So I can come out here and run with Jerry and do that stuff and I can get that ready. My leg's coming along really good. If my arm was fine, I'd be out there."

Rattay said he has no problem with the team's plan to rest him until Monday, which would keep him from participating in any part of Saturday's 49ers Fan Day at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, where the Niners will conduct a practice in full game uniforms.

"That's the plan," Rattay said. "If something happens and I feel real good, I might do some stuff earlier. If it's Monday, then hopefully I'll be able to get back then and do most of team (drills)."

Rattay said, despite missing almost a week of practice time, that he should remain on course toward his – and the team's – target of having him return to live action for the Niners' Aug. 21 exhibition game at Chicago.

But it was obvious the latest injury setback, however minor it might turn out to be, is another frustrating episode in Rattay's pursuit to take over as the team's No. 1 quarterback.

When asked, jokingly, what it's like to be the starting quarterback, Rattay replied, "I can't tell right now."

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