Trey Lance will likely be heading to injured reserve soon. On Monday, the quarterback underwent what most assumed was season-ending surgery to repair the damage sustained when he broke his ankle against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2.

In a conference call with reporters this week, head coach Kyle Shanahan seemed quite confident that Lance would be ready to compete in Week 1 of the 2023 season. However, an expert is unsure whether the injury will put end of the season.

Los Angeles Rams consultant foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Kenneth Jung thinks Lance could be fully cured in 10 to 12 weeks. Assuming the estimated recovery time is longer, this could make him available after week 14. However, the shorter estimate could mean that Lance is healthy after week 12.

“Many non-medical factors could play a role in its closure, protecting their investment in the future,” Jung told Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. “But usually that injury lasts about 10 to 12 weeks.”

The 49ers announced Lance’s surgery to repair a fractured fibula and ruptured ligament was successful.

“The ligament damage, Jung said, was likely caused by a dislocation, with the bones moving out of the joint,” Branch wrote. “The torn ligaments are likely in the syndesmosis, the complex of ligaments involved in high ankle sprains.

“Jung said Lance’s fibula was likely stabilized with a plate and screws. This hardware will likely remain through Lance’s career, as it involves another operation to be removed, and the bone may be weaker without it.”

The good news is that Jung doesn’t expect Lance’s mobility to be limited once he fully recovers from his injury. While a return this season doesn’t seem impossible, it looks like at worst Lance will be full throttle next year and ready for the 2023 season.

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