49ers TE George Kittle plan to return “sooner or later” after foot fracture


A month after sustaining a broken foot, San Francisco 49ers star tight winger George Kittle believes he’s set to return.

“They said eight weeks; I said six, ”Kittle said Tuesday, via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. “And I’m excited. These last two days have definitely improved and made me very optimistic about my return to the field.

“When I was injured for the first time, my state of mind was that I would be back. And I’m going to continue to keep that mindset because I really feel like I’m going to be on the pitch here as soon as possible. ”

Kittle suffered the injury in Week 8 on November 1. The specific injury was a fractured cuboid bone, which sits on the outside of the toe and connects the foot to the ankle for stability.

“All I’ve really learned is that it’s the hardest bone in your foot to break, and you have to do it on purpose or in a car accident,” Kittle said. “So I don’t know if that means I’m unlucky or if I need to slow down every now and then.

“The good news is, it’s apparently the easiest bone to heal in your foot, and it definitely does a good job. Fortunately, I have great trainers and great [physical therapy] guys. They are the ones who make me healthy. And I think we are doing a fantastic job in this area so far. ”

Niners coach Kyle Shanahan has said he hopes to reunite with Kittle and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo by the end of the season. Both players traveled to Arizona, where the 49ers will take up residence after COVID-19 restrictions oust them from Santa Clara.

“I’ve been holding out for Jimmy the last few weeks,” Shanahan said. “Same for Kittle. I think they’re both in a similar boat. It’s not guaranteed, that’s how they react here over the next few weeks, but they’re just starting to get in there. Hope it will be the last two weeks. whether it’s two games or one game or none. ”

Kittle’s comments suggest he’s pushing for a more optimistic timeline.

With Sunday’s victory over the Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco (5-6) remains in the race to potentially clinch last place in the playoffs ahead of their Week 13 prime-time fight against the Buffalo Bills.

Although he’s only played six games this season – none since Week 8 – Kittle remains the 49ers’ first receiver with 474 yards – rookie Brandon Aiyuk is second at 446 – a testament to both the importance TE and eruption of wounds. San Francisco processed in 2020.


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