SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The 49ers said their medical staff does not believe first-round pick Reuben Foster will need additional shoulder surgery and he should be cleared in time for the start of training camp.
The Alabama linebacker, considered one of the top prospects entering the draft, almost slid out of the first round, in part, because of medical concerns, most centered upon a problematic shoulder that required postseason surgery to repair labrum and rotator cuff damage.
Foster said he feels "90 percent" recovered from surgery during a post-draft conference call Thursday night. General Manager John Lynch said after his post-draft news conference that the 49ers' medical staff did extensive checks and do not believe any additional procedures are needed.
The 49ers entered the draft with Foster as one of their top targets, Lynch said. The team had the No. 2 overall pick to start the draft, and a source said that was too rich to select Foster because of his shoulder and for the circumstances leading to him being sent home from the draft combine for arguing with a hospital worker during his physical. In addition, testing positive for a dilute urine sample, also led to his slide to No. 31. The 49ers selected Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas with the No. 3 pick, after working a trade with the Bears to move back a spot.
The 49ers paired a fourth-round pick acquired in the trade with the Bears and their second-round pick (34th overall) to move to No. 31 to select Foster. Lynch said they are not overly concerned with potential character issues with Foster.
As for doing their due diligence on Foster, Lynch said: "We were exhaustive in getting to know the kid. We met him at the combine. We had him out here for a visit. [Coach] Kyle [Shanahan] and I spent a lot of time on the phone with him Facetiming ... He's going to be disappointed [with being picked No. 31] because he feels he was one of the better players."
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