While the San Francisco 49ers prepare to play today with the Super Bowl in reach, one of their former high-profile draft picks has a far different reality.
Reuben Foster, the star linebacker who was taken No. 31 in the 2017 NFL Draft before his release following an arrest for domestic violence, has spent the week in Colombia. He flew back to the United States today.
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According to his agent Malki Kawa, Foster’s trip included a significant milestone as the linebacker attempts to recover from a torn ACL, LCL and MCL, suffered in practice with the Washington Redskins last May. For the first time, Kawa disclosed that Foster also sustained nerve damage. Foster couldn’t feel his toes for the last several months — that ended this week with an optimistic development.
"He’s got feeling in his toes, the underside of his foot, the side of his foot," Kawa said by phone from South America. "The nerve is starting to fire again."
Kawa knows that Foster has a long way to go. He hopes Foster can participate in some form or fashion in training camp, but there is no timetable set for his return. Based on how positive the week in Colombia was, he’s not ruling anything out.
"We called the team so they could see it," Kawa said. "They were really happy. There has been significant improvement this week."
To get where he is now, Foster used a BioXcellerator, which works to regenerate various body parts using stem cells and cellular therapies. In addition, Foster has used other treatments including a hyperbaric chamber.
The drop foot that plagued Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith when he suffered nerve damage also plagues Foster. Foster could not dorsiflex — which meant he could not lift his foot — for several months.
"He’s regaining feeling and power," said Kawa, who signed Foster out of Alabama, was fired and now is repping him again. "It shows the nerve is firing. When he moves his leg upward, he can feel around the ankle and the top part of the foot. That’s a new thing. The next 60 days are going to be big as far as getting back to normal."
Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.
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