Via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport comes news that 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith secretly had shoulder surgery recently:
I reported on Total Access: #49ers OLB Aldon Smith underwent surgery for a torn labrum a few weeks ago. Was on Injury Report for 5 weeks.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 15, 2013
It’s unclear when the surgery took place or what the timetable for recovery is but this might explain some things about last season.
If you remember, Smith got out to a blazing start to the year with a franchise-record 19.5 sacks by Week 14, including a 5.5 sack effort against the Bears on Monday night in Week 11, but remarkably couldn’t bring the quarterback down the rest of the season, including the playoffs.
Smith said he suffered a “stinger” in the Bears game and was listed on subsequent 49ers injury reports with a shoulder ailment.
If you’re expecting the Niners to come out and clear some things up, you’re probably better off trying to get nuclear launch codes from Obama.
It’s possible the surgery is related to the “stinger” that may have more severe than let on and contributed to his subsequent drastic dip in production. But while it’s easy to assume that, there’s also this from BANG:
Smith sparred for nearly an hour Feb. 15 with Daniel Cormier, a two-time Olympic wrestler and current UFC fighter. Smith showed no signs of hindrance from his shoulder during their light training session.
“It’s doing good,” Smith said then of his shoulder. “I was on the mat, playing and doing fine.”
Here’s video from February of Smith practicing MMA and decidedly looking not torn-shoulder-y:
So, did Smith later aggravate the injury during MMA training? Or is he just a superstar at hiding pain?
Either way, can’t say yet. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Aaaand we might have our answer:
Aldon Smith’s recent surgery to repair torn labrum in shoulder was from in-season injury, not his MMA training, league source said. #49ers
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) March 16, 2013