SANTA CLARA –- Colin Kaepernick had issues with general manager Trent Baalke and the 49ers’ medical staff’s handling of his injuries, according to sources.
Although Kaepernick attempted to sidestep questions on those topics, he did shed some light on why he and his agents, Scott Smith and Jason Bernstein, might have been compelled to seek a trade in the offseason.
Kaepernick was asked if he has spoken with Baalke since he reported to the 49ers’ offseason program on April 4.
“No, I haven’t had any discussions with him,” Kaepernick said. “But, once again, I don’t want to get into specifics. I want to focus on football and making sure I’m prepared for this upcoming season.”
When asked a follow-up question about his rapport with the 49ers’ front office, Kaepernick said, “That’s not something I want to get into. I’m here to talk about football.”
Kaepernick apparently sustained a torn labrum in his left shoulder during the Oct. 4 game against the Green Bay Packers. He did not receive treatment and never appeared on the team's official injury report. Kaepernick started four more games before he was benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert.
After reporting back after the bye week, Kaepernick’s shoulder was checked and the damage was revealed.
“At the time, I didn’t realize how bad things were until I went and got a second opinion and really saw what had happened,” Kaepernick said. “At this point, I’m close to being 100-percent healthy. Close to where I can start training again. And really looking forward to the progress I can make this summer and being ready for training camp.”
Kaepernick opted to have his surgeries performed by Dr. Peter Millett of the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado. He also went through three months of rehab in Vail before reporting to the 49ers' offseason program in Santa Clara.
Kaepernick made no excuses about how the injuries impacted his play. After undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery, Kaepernick had procedures on his right thumb and left knee after the season.
“To be perfectly blunt with you, I didn’t play my best football last year,” Kaepernick said. “Injury, no injury, I wasn’t playing my best football. And that’s something I’m excited about for this season is being able to redeem myself, go out there and play well and prove to everybody what I’m capable of.”
Kaepernick noticeably lost a lot of weight this offseason due to to his inability to carry out his typical offseason training regimen. He said he must put on a “substantial amount of weight” in the seven weeks before the opening of training camp. The 49ers are set to report to training on July 30 with the first practice tentatively scheduled for July 31.
“I’m still working on getting strength throughout my entire body,” Kaepernick said. “Three surgeries, it took awhile for me to get back in the weight room and start lifting and be able to put some of that muscle back on, which is why I’m really excited about this summer and the point I’m at now. I can start doing those things and really get prepared for the season.”
Kaepernick spent considerable time in the offseason working in the weight room each year since coming to the NFL. He said there is a chance he had gotten too tight in his upper body.
“Too tight? I do think that’s possible,” Kaepernick said. “Too much muscle for what I do and how I play? I don’t think so. I’ve been heavier in the past and played just as well and better. I don’t think that’s the issue, it’s making sure I do everything on the recovery end and making sure I stay limber as well.”