49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo on ‘freak’ injury: I’ll come ‘back stronger than I was before’

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo opened up about the “freak accident” that led to him tearing his ACL, saying he has finally found a way to accept the season-ending injury.

“Eventually you get to a point where you have to accept it and start moving on,” Garoppolo told reporters Friday. “I think just the overall acceptance of it initially. It was tough. I have never had a serious injury like this so it’s different but we’re very positive now.”

For the first time since his injury, Jimmy Garoppolo met with the media. Hear what he had to say about the recovery process. pic.twitter.com/wOTU6V5RTC

“If someone’s saying I’m injury prone, then they don’t really know what they’re talking about,” Garoppolo added. “I’ve played sports my whole life, I’ve only had two injuries. So, it’s weird. I’m not used to it, that’s for sure. It’s something that I don’t want to get used to. I want to be out there with the guys battling, preparing throughout the week and everything.”

Garoppolo injured his left knee during a game against the Chiefs on Sept. 23. He had surgery to repair his ACL on Oct. 3 and returned to team meetings a few weeks ago. He is expected to lose his crutches soon as he continues to rehab his knee. Coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo has done well dealing with the injury.

“I think he’s handled it as good as you can,” Shanahan told reporters Friday. “Jimmy was extremely down, like anybody would be. Jimmy was very excited about the season. He was very excited to play. He was very excited to go through his first year.

“We would have loved to see him go through it the rest of the year and go through the ups and downs, because you get better from those in every aspect. But I think he did learn a lot in his three games. I think that helps him going into this offseason – how to prepare, what to expect.”

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Garoppolo remains optimistic he will return to the 49ers even stronger than before, despite the setback.

“Everyone keeps telling me you’ll get back to how your legs were before, just as strong if not stronger,” Garoppolo said. “It’s all about putting in the work right now — coming back stronger than I was before.”

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