SANTA CLARA –- The areas of Colin Kaepernick’s body that underwent surgeries all feel “great,” he said on Friday.
But it’s Kaepernick’s tight throwing shoulder, which kept him out of practice on Friday, that places his availability in question for the 49ers’ exhibition opener on Sunday against the Houston Texans. Kaepernick said he believes he will be available to play in the team's exhibition opener.
“That’s kind of the funny part,” said Kaepernick, whose offseason was spent rehabbing surgeries to his non-throwing shoulder, left knee and right thumb. “I never thought I’d be dealing with this.”
Kaepernick said he did a lot of throwing as training camp approached, but it was difficult to prepare his throwing arm for the strain of the team’s high-tempo practices.
“I threw quite a bit,” he said. “But you can’t (replicate) that live action, though and intensity and quick twitch that you need when you’re going against a defense.”
It’s because Kaepernick was not cleared for all football activity in the offseason that led to his throwing arm feeling the effects of the workload in training camp, he said. Coach Chip Kelly said Kaepernick has thrown from 86 to 102 passes a day.
When asked if he considers that a lot of throwing, Kaepernick answered, “In the past, I’d say no. But the fact I haven’t been in live action in probably almost nine months now, it’s just rebuilding that endurance and getting my body used to that again.”
Kaepernick, a former high school pitcher, said what he is feeling is not too different than the days after having a high pitch count.
“I’ve experienced that a couple of times in my baseball career,” he said. “My arm has always snapped back quick, so I’m not too concerned about it.”
With Kaepernick often standing behind the 49ers’ quarterbacks, he took mental reps against the Texans’ defense when he would have preferred to be out there getting live practice snaps.
“I would’ve loved to have gotten those reps, but it’s also something where we’re in preseason practice,” Kaepernick said. “We don’t play a game for about another month, so we want to stay ahead of this before we get to the season.”
The 49ers open the regular season on Sept. 12 against the Los Angeles Rams. Kaepernick and Gabbert are competing for the starting job.