A frustrating and injury-plagued season will end Tuesday for San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback Tim Rattay, who has not played since suffering a strained arch on Dec. 5, and who will undergo surgery to correct a condition with his right forearm.
The fourth-year veteran, who was unlikely to play again anyway this season, has had problems with his throwing arm three times since training camp. Because the arch injury would have precluded him playing in the final two contests, in which Ken Dorsey will start, Rattay decided to have the surgery now so he could begin the rehabilitation process.
Rattay started only nine games in 2004, a season in which he replaced the departed Jeff Garcia atop the depth chart. He completed 198 of 325 passes for 2,169 yards, with 10 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. He was sacked an alarming 37 times and lost six of 11 fumbles.
His problems began in a May minicamp, when Rattay sustained a severe groin tear that required surgery and forced him to miss virtually all of the offseason training program and part of camp. The forearm problem flared up once in preseason and then again at mid-season, the latter forcing Rattay to miss two starts.
"Ability-wise, I'm confident," said Rattay, who figures to begin rehabilitation a few weeks after surgery. "But it's hard to sit and say that now with all these injuries. I'm not getting hurt when I get hit. I can take a hit and get back up. The injuries I have had have been fluke deals."
Surgery Tuesday is intended to treat a condition known as "compartment pressure" in Rattay's forearm and permit the muscle to expand. It is anticipated the former Louisiana Tech star will be recovered in time for minicamps.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here.