49ers DL Javon Kinlaw underwent ACL reconstruction

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We have a little more clarity on the knee surgery that ended 49ers defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw’s second season.

On Friday the club issued a joint statement with Dr. Tim McAdam and Dr. Neal ElAttrache about the procedure:

49ers defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw recently underwent successful surgery to repair his right knee. As persistent symptoms limited Javon’s performance, we consulted with medical experts and determined that the best course of action was to perform surgery. Evaluation of the knee in surgery confirmed suspicions that the ACL had chronic changes that would be best treated with ACL reconstruction. This procedure gives him the best opportunity to make a full recovery and return to playing football in 2022.

There were initially no specifics on the nature of Kinlaw’s surgery. He played in four of the first five games after working with a knee issue throughout camp, but was absent in practice and the 49ers’ Week 7 game against the Colts after their bye.

That was an ominous sign for his 2021 projection, but he opted to follow in running back Raheem Mostert’s footsteps and have season-ending surgery in hopes of ensuring his full health next season.

Kinlaw is a sizable piece of what the 49ers want to do on their defensive line, and having him either absent or limited was never going to allow him to reach the ceiling the team set for him. If this surgery does help him achieve that potential, it’ll be a huge step in getting San Francisco back into Super Bowl contention.

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