SANTA CLARA — Raheem Mostert showed off a pair of eight-inch scars in either side of his right arm on Wednesday afternoon.
The month-and-a-half-old incision marks were the only lasting impression of the surgery Mostert underwent to repair a completely broken ulna and radius.
Besides the scars, Mostert is nearly completely healed after sustaining the stomach-churning injury on Nov. 1 against the Oakland Raiders. Mostert’s unbelievably quick prognosis should allow the four-year veteran to return to football-activities within weeks.
“[Dr. Timothy McAdams] said it was the fastest he’s seen anyone heal with two broken bones,” Mostert said.
According to Mostert, McAdams — the team’s orthopedic surgeon — installed two titanium plates and 13 screws to repair the lower half of his arm.
While the radius broke cleanly, the ulna shattered, fragmenting into several, smaller pieces. It’s why the the 13 screws were needed instead of 12: to hold everything in place. This was all described by Mostert, who is now very knowledgeable regarding the anatomy of his arm, on which he fell awkwardly during a carry in the third quarter of San Francisco’s 34-3 win over Oakland.
“I just rolled over and I was like ‘damn,’” Mostert said. “Like, I felt it and I heard the pops but it didn’t even hurt, which is surprising. I was shocked, and once I rolled over and I put my arm up, it was just going back and forth.”
After the play, Mostert was immediately taken to the 49ers locker room for X-rays, which revealed the severity of the obviously broken arm, effectively ending what was turning into a breakout season.
In his final four games, Mostert had recorded 250 yards on just 28 carries, averaging 8.9 yards per touch.
“Raheem was really coming on strong,” 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens said. “Coach [Kyle] Shanahan really pushed him to reach his potential and he was making great strides … We hate he got hurt because he was really turning into a special player.”
“It stung a lot. The problem was that I was doing so good,” Mostert said. “It’s the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows.”
The morning after snapping the arm, Mostert was in McAdam’s operating room. The team announced that the surgery was a success and that he would be back on the football field by organized team activities.
Mostert’s rehab regimen began slow, with small strength exercises to regain mobility and help fuse the bones back together.
Originally, Mostert thought that because it was an upper body injury that he’d be able to work out his legs and core. Doctors told the 26-year-old that workouts would be too much stress on his body.
Mostert’s body responded well, however, and before long, he was able to start adding weight to his arm exercises and even removing his brace a month after the procedure.
Mostert’s recovery process was so fast, in fact, that last Thursday — six-and-a-half weeks after undergoing the surgery — he was seen shooting hoops from three-point distance on the mounted basket inside of the locker room after practice.
As the 2018 season comes to an end on Sunday for the 49ers, questions as to how the offense will function next season have already started to be asked, particularly regarding San Francisco’s running back situation.
Along with Mostert, the 49ers are expecting to get Jerick McKinnon back from injury, after the former Minnesota Viking missed the entirety of 2018 with a torn ACL suffered in August.
“Honestly, we’ll see,” Mostert said about the possibility of an expanded role. “I feel like I made a good impression for it being my last impression so we’ll see how it all plays out next season.
“Kyle [Shanahan] and [49ers general manager] John Lynch have came up to me both excited like, ‘Hey, left on a high note and we appreciate you.’”
Mostert plans to be back to on-field activities by mid-to-late January. While the goal would seem lofty for the average person coming back from that kind of injury, Mostert seems up to the challenge considering his progress thus far.
“I’m blessed that it happened the way that it did.” Mostert said. “I can’t wait to be back out there.”