SANTA CLARA Two days after the Super Bowl, Aldon Smith insisted his shoulder "wasn't a problem at all."
It was a refrain he gave during the second half of the season despite the fact the 49ers linebacker appeared on the team's injury report with a shoulder injury from Week 12 through the postseason.
On Friday, NFL Network reported that Smith was hurt more than he was letting on and that he had surgery "a few weeks ago" to repair a torn labrum. A 49ers spokesman said the team would not comment on the report, but a source with knowledge of the procedure confirmed it and said it was done to address an in-season injury.
Smith, of course, set a franchise record with 191/2 sacks in 2012, but none of them came after a two-sack game in Week 14 against the Miami Dolphins. He had perhaps the best outing of the year a 51/2-sack game in Week 11 against the Chicago Bears while seemingly dealing with the shoulder injury, which appeared to have begun bothering him the week before against the St. Louis Rams.
Smith's sack-less streak also coincided with linemate Justin Smith's torn triceps injury, which was operated on in February.
Aldon Smith downplayed the injury throughout the second half of the season and didn't have surgery immediately after the Super Bowl.
Aldon Smith's recovery time is unknown, although he no longer needs the sling he wore after the procedure, NFL Network reported.
Smith made the Pro Bowl and All-Pro squads after the season. He also won the team's MVP honor, the Bill Walsh Award, which is voted on by teammates and coaches.