Montana's hand surgically repaired with screws can't throw until late April

January 23, 1991|By San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco quarterback Joe Montana underwent surgery on his right hand yesterday morning at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, Calif., the 49ers announced. Dr. Michael Dillingham, 49ers team physician, inserted two screws in the fifth metacarpal of Montana's throwing hand in an operation that lasted an hour.

The 49ers said Montana will wear a splint for about four weeks. The screws will be removed in two months.

Montana can begin throwing in late April, three months before training camp begins in July.

Team executive Dwight Clark, Montana's close friend and former teammate, said he spoke to Montana's wife, Jennifer, and she said the surgery went well.

Clark hasn't spoken directly to Montana yet, and when he does, he probably will ask how Montana broke his hand while getting hit from behind by the Giants' Leonard Marshall. From looking at film of the play, Clark has some ideas.

Montana's right arm was cocked to throw when he was bear-hugged by Marshall, and the 285-pounder's upper arm wrapped around Montana's hand. Then, Clark said, when Montana fell "he slammed his hand to the ground."

The operation was the fifth time in nine years Montana has had offseason surgery.

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