George Kittle provides injury update that could be a cause for concern

Hopefully, the latest reveal from George Kittle won't be a problem for the All-Pro tight end once the 2024 season rolls around.
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85)
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) / Tom Hauck/GettyImages

George Kittle admitted he lost nearly 30 pounds after offseason surgery, and that hopefully won't cut into his overall impact in 2024.

Two things are true when it comes to describing All-Pro tight end George Kittle.

First, he's a vital member of the San Francisco 49ers, as both an offensive weapon and locker room presence.

Second, he has an unfortunate injury reputation.

Earlier this offseason, Kittle revealed that he spent much of 2023 dealing with an core muscle injury that ultimately required offseason surgery. On the positive side, he fully expects to be ready in time for training camp, which will begin toward the end of July.

However, on a recent episode of the Bussin' with the Boys Podcast (h/t NBC Sports Bay Area), Kittle revealed another aspect of his surgery and recovery that's slightly concerning.

George Kittle admits he lost 30 pounds following offseason surgery

During the episode, of which included the tight end's appearance on Netflix's pending documentary, Receiver, Kittlle also shared a notable setback that accompanied him immediately after his offseason medical procedure.

He apparently lost nearly 30 pounds, dropping significantly from his ideal playing weight of 250 pounds.

"I couldn’t lift,” Kittle said. "I couldn’t do any upper body because of my shoulder and my rib, and I couldn’t do lower [body] because of my core surgery. …  I didn't lift from the Super Bowl until like almost mid-March."

Kittle pointed out how he "went a month without doing anything," per the requirements of his recovery.

Without diving too deeply into the medical side of things, this latest reveal can be something of a concern, given how the Niners' depth chart behind Kittle is awfully thin, even after the recent free-agent pickup of former Washington Commanders tight end Logan Thomas.

Considering Kittle's aggressive playing style, it's fair to wonder if the offseason's challenges could potentially carry over into the regular season, especially in light of his injury reputation.

Fortunately, Kittle doesn't feel as if it'll be an issue.

"I knew a bunch of guys that had gone through it," Kittle added. "I called some people and they were like, 'Hey, you’re gonna feel great, just like the first month or so is going to suck, and after that, you’re going to come back.'"

That's good news.

Training camp will likely be the first hurdle Kittle will have to clear, in terms of proving his offseason setbacks aren't going to hamper his 2024 efforts.

If he's looking close to being 100 percent, then this reveal will be little more than an afterthought.

At least that's the hope.

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