SANTA CLARA – Linebacker Reuben Foster is likely to be a spectator when the 49ers hold their rookie minicamp next week.
But Foster said he is on pace to be fully cleared for football activity by the time the 49ers open training camp in late July. Recent national reports have suggested Foster would require another surgery on his right shoulder.
“That’s not accurate at all,” said Foster, who took part in a press conference on Friday after the 49ers selected him with the No. 31 overall pick in the draft on Thursday. “I’m fine. I’m on schedule.”
Foster said he sustained the tear of the labrum in his right shoulder during Alabama’s national semifinal game against Washington. He played in the championship game against Clemson with the injury.
He underwent surgery on his rotator cuff that forced him to sit out drills at the NFL scouting combine in February. Foster was sent home from Indianapolis after an argument with a hospital worker while he was waiting to undergo a physical.
There were reports Foster could require additional surgery after he went through the medical re-check in Indianapolis.
“I’m making big progress,” Foster said. “I’ll be limited in OTAs. Training camp, I’ll be full-go, but if it’s my decision, I think I can go now.”
Later, Foster said the 49ers have all of his medical information.
“I guarantee they have enough X-rays, exams, MRIs to know where I stand,” he said. “I had the surgery. They already knew how many weeks I was out.”
Foster dropped in the draft over apparent concerns about his shoulder and character issues. Alabama coach Nick Saban told AL.com on Thursday that Foster did not consult him before undergoing surgery.
"Look, the way we like for things to get handled, that didn't get handled," Saban said. "We have the best doctors in the world in Dr. (James) Andrews and Dr. (Lyle) Cain who operate on most NFL players and his agent chose to take him someplace else. I think (Andrews and Cain) have tremendous credibility.
"So, you know, all these choices and decisions that you make have consequences and I hate it for our players when they do it, but he didn't seek my advice in what he should do. So, if that was an issue, that was an issue. It shouldn't have been an issue but if it was, I don't really know much about it."