San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will not require surgery on a grade-3 UCL sprain of his thumb, coach Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday, per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports.
Shanahan also noted that Jimmy G could potentially start Sunday's home game against the Houston Texans.
A small piece of bone tore away with the ligament when Garoppolo was injured during last week's loss to the Tennessee Titans, but it's the sprain that is hindering his ability to throw, Shanahan said.
Garoppolo has not practiced this week, but a Wednesday re-evaluation could allow him to begin practicing on a limited basis; per Shanahan, the quarterback felt significantly better on Wednesday.
"I've been told he does not need surgery right now. To clear that up, the way it was worded to me, he has a Grade III sprain," Shanahan said, per Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News. "Reason they never mentioned to me a fracture, it doesn't have much to do with the sprain; it pulled off a fleck of the bone."
If Garoppolo is unable to practice Wednesday, Shanahan is hopeful he'll be a go for Thursday. Per ESPN's Nick Wagoner, the quarterback echoed hope that he has a chance to play in Sunday's crucial game against the Texans, as the 49ers try to secure a postseason berth. The 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles, both 8-7, are in the best current position to claim the last two available playoff berths in the NFC.
If Garoppolo is unable to play, the club would turn to rookie backup Trey Lance, who hasn't thrown a pass in a game since starting a Week 5 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, 17-10. Lance started in place of Garoppolo in that game due to a calf injury.
For the season, Garoppolo has completed 278 of 409 passes for 3,494 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.