49ers quarterback Lance undergoes second ankle surgery

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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance underwent a second operation on his right ankle Friday but is still expected to recover by the start of the offseason program.

Lance needed the additional surgery to remove hardware placed in the ankle during the original operation in September.

"Due to the location of the fracture, the required hardware placement was close to a tendon in Lance's ankle," the team’s statement said. "During the rehab process, their close proximity proved to cause irritation in his ankle. After consulting with multiple experts, the decision was made to have the hardware removed to prevent future issues in the ankle.

"Lance will continue his rehab process and is expected to make a full recovery and return for OTAs."

Drafted third overall in 2021 after San Francisco traded three first-round picks to move up nine spots, Lance assumed the 49ers’ starting job this season. He spent his rookie season mostly on the bench behind Jimmy Garoppolo.

Lance broke his ankle on a run against the Seattle Seahawks on September 18 and had surgery the next day to repair what the team called a "fractured fibula and ligament damage" in the ankle.

In eight career games, Lance is 56 of 102 for 797 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions, while also rushing 54 times for 235 yards.

The 49ers lost Garoppolo to a broken foot in Week 13 this season, but they haven’t missed a beat with rookie Brock Purdy under centre, winning all three of his starts to clinch the NFC West.