Alex update: 'It's just pretty bad'

As the 49ers make plans to bring in another veteran quarterback, Alex Smith still is uncertain about the course of action he will take to treat the fracture in his right shoulder. Smith said Monday that doctors still are trying to figure out the best way to approach the injury and, "hopefully, we'll come to a conclusion by (Tuesday)." Here, Smith discusses several aspects regarding his situation.

Q: Is the problem you're having still with the original fracture?
Smith:
Yes. Until then, there's no point in me trying to translate what they're telling me. It just gets hard.

Q: How does the pain compare to the other injuries you've had?
Smith:
It's pretty bad. Pretty tender. Similar to last year in a way. It's just pretty bad; sore. Different though. Pretty tender.

Q: Are you able to move your arm at all?
Smith:
Not a lot of movement, no. Not a lot of movement. I tried throwing after I did it a little bit but it didn't feel good.

Q: Have they told you don't do anything with it because you could make it worse?
Smith:
For now, yes. Just letting it try to settle down; get the inflammation out of there. There's a broken bone in there, so I'm not trying to get it to move or anything. So, yes.

Q: But no sling?
Smith:
No sling, not necessarily. They said there's enough muscle and tissue around there to kind of hold it in place, but throwing and contact wouldn't be great.

Q: Are they confident that eventually it will be fine?
Smith:
Yes, yes. As far as long term goes, I think I'm just frustrated, combined with what happened last year and the surgery now, this happened. But it is a fracture and there shouldn't be any long term effects. Just going about what's the best way to fix it.

Q: If it is a fracture, would it require surgery?
Smith:
That's part of the deal – trying to figure that out.

Q: So it's a possible that even if it is fractured, it might not require surgery?
Smith:
There's a possibility of yes and no, so we're just trying to figure out what we're going to do with it and how we're going to treat it.

Q: What's your timeframe?
Smith:
That'll kind of impact it, as far as the decision that'll get made. Hopefully tomorrow, I was hoping today, we'll come to some kind of conclusion. The films didn't get down there today and I guess we'll get down there tomorrow morning. So kind of holding off for the day.

Q: How many conversations have you had with Dr. [James] Andrews?
Smith:
I have not spoken to him. Our doctor here has talked to him a few times about it and then we'll talk tomorrow once he gets a look at it.

Q: How difficult was it to just watch from the sidelines Sunday?
Smith:
It's bad enough to watch. It was really hard just to be out of uniform. I've kind of gone through all that last year and hoping my shoulder was going to get well and start feeling better and better and better. And that's kind of what the plan was. And to have this kind of setback is frustrating. Tired of being in the warm-up sitting there watching.

Q: How much do you know about the original surgery?
Smith:
I mean, layman's [terms] I guess.

Q: Did they…that little thing…what is it? The process?
Smith:
Yeah, that thing.

Q: Did they drill a hole in that thing to anchor it down?
Smith:
As far as I know, no. But that's pure speculation. As far as I would guess, no. The hole is in the collarbone and that's what they just loop around to.

Q: Is it possible that could have been broken on a hit during the preseason?
Smith:
They don't know. In theory, just throwing would be really hard to do. It's kind of a freaky deal. They said it couldn't happen – kind of impossible. So I don't know if I did do something getting hit. But I cannot remember taking anything even close to a major blow in the preseason. So nothing I can even recall – even feeling anything. So I don't know.

Q: The first real pain that was related was Friday during practice?
Smith:
Yes, as far as that goes. As far as anything like this – it had some soreness at times but nothing like this. One throw and I knew something was wrong.

Q: So this is a pretty freak thing?
Smith:
As far as I understand, very. Very, very, very.

Q: What was used to attach the ligaments to the shoulder? Was it staples?
Smith:
There are some sutures but then there's different, I guess, medical suture wiring, whatever you want to call it, different stuff. Ones that absorb at different times.


Niners Digest Top Stories