George Kittle shares details of offseason surgery, expectations for return

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle / Don Juan Moore/GettyImages

George Kittle underwent a serious surgery during the offseason but expects to be fully recovered in time for training camp.

Like it or not, San Francisco 49ers All-Pro tight end George Kittle has a notable injury history.

Fortunately, over the last three years, injuries haven't cut a serious mark into Kittle's regular-season availability, missing only a single game last season, two the year prior and three games in 2021. Despite those relatively minor setbacks, Kittle has been a Pro Bowler in each of those seasons.

In part because of how physical he plays the game, Kittle is often an injury risk. And he dealt with a serious injury for much of his 2023 campaign.

At some point last year, Kittle experienced a core muscle injury that ultimately required offseason surgery. Along with cornerback Charvarius Ward, who experienced a similar injury, Kittle had a procedure done that would fully address the issue during the down months of the NFL calendar.

From organized team activities this week, Kittle detailed what the procedure and recovery were like, as well as updating the press about his return to the field.

George Kittle expects to return in full by training camp

Kittle has been present for OTAs but isn't participating in team drills, instead working out on the sidelines in direct relation to his surgery recovery.

After practice on Wednesday, Kittle shared how the injury popped up during the regular season:

"Week 9, 10, we took some MRIs of it and some stuff didn't show up. So, we weren't really entirely sure what we were dealing with until I got the surgery. So that was a tough one. We tried to figure it out, but things weren't popping up on the scans, and so it's just something that we were playing through probably for like 10 weeks. It's fun stuff."

Kittle also pointed out how both he and Ward had the same surgeon perform the procedure, and while there were slight differences in the surgeries, both are eagerly working toward being ready in time for training camp later this summer.

"The goal is to be back and ready for training camp," Kittle added.

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