Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers advises Trey Lance to try to stay positive as he recovers from a season-ending injury

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Returning to the role of San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo has plenty to do this week. But before he could fully dive back into it, he made sure to connect with the man he’s replacing: injured quarterback Trey Lance.

Speaking to the media on Thursday for the first time since appearing for Lance in last week’s win against the Seattle Seahawks, Garoppolo said he spoke to Lance a few times this week and also communicated with him via Zoom when Lance called to participate. participate in meetings.

Garoppolo’s advice? Try to stay as positive as possible.

“I heard [defensive end Nick] Bosa’s presser recently and he worded it pretty well because there’s a moment when you feel like your life is over and you feel like you can never go back to where I was,” Garoppolo said. “But that passes. and you’ve got to get to a point where it’s over and you move on mentally. There will be hurdles for him to overcome, but I’ve been around Trey for a few years now. He’s a tough guy, so he’ll be fine.”

On Monday morning, Lance underwent surgery at Stanford Hospital to repair a fractured fibula and ligament damage in his right ankle. The 49ers have expressed their optimism that Lance will be ready in time for the start of the 2023 NFL season.

“He’s doing the best you can,” said coach Kyle Shanahan. “Trey has been great. Some guys, we’ve all talked to him a lot, and he’s trying to get to the game this week. I don’t think he’ll be able to, until the swelling goes down, but he’ll be back soon and a be part of us.”

After returning to the field on Sunday, Garoppolo said it was like “cycling” but he also hadn’t had much time to think about the long, strange journey that took him back to the track he’d spent most of his time on. has held for the past five years. .

Asked Thursday whether that trip was surreal, Garoppolo said yes and no.

“Just for how things have turned out, it’s pretty crazy,” Garoppolo said. “But I don’t know, everything happens for a reason, I’m a big believer in that and it’s just another opportunity.”

For now, Garoppolo said he’s just “trying to stay in the moment” and reacclimatize to carry out the San Francisco attack. Garoppolo said last week’s match was similar to how he did in 2017 when he was first traded to the Niners and unaware of the offense.

Being new at the time, taking over a team with only one win at the time, Garoppolo had more freedom to improvise. This week he got his first reps with the starting strike since before the NFC Championship Game in January.

It’s been almost eight months now and Garoppolo has felt it all after right shoulder surgery and the associated rehabilitation. And now, under circumstances no one wanted, a sense of normalcy has returned.

“A long break, no OTAs, no training camp, it was a different kind of year and I’ve obviously been in some weird situations here,” said Garoppolo. “But it has some good and bad. The shoulder feels good and that’s clearly number 1, so when I felt better physically, the rest of things fell into place.”

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