Colin Kaepernick received medical clearance Tuesday from his Colorado doctor to fully take part in practice for the first time this season.
According to a league source, the 49ers quarterback met in Vail, Colo., with Dr. Peter Millett, who performed Kaepernick’s November shoulder surgery. Millett put Kaepernick through a series of tests, including on-field work, all of which Kaepernick passed.
All 49ers players, including Kaepernick, are expected to be examined by the team’s medical staff Saturday before the first training camp practice Sunday.
Millett and others at Vail’s Steadman Clinic have been working with the 49ers’ team physicians since Kaepernick went there to have a torn left labrum repaired. He subsequently had surgeries on his right thumb and left knee.
Those procedures kept Kaepernick from throwing during the 49ers’ early spring sessions. He improved enough by the team’s June minicamp to take part in everything short of 11-on-11 situations.
During that minicamp, Blaine Gabbert worked with the first team and Kaepernick worked with the second. New coach Chip Kelly has not discussed how he will divvy up training camp snaps, saying only his fast-paced offense means there will be plenty of repetitions for all four quarterbacks.
“All I’ve heard is that Chip has told me it’s going to be a competition … and to come in and be ready to compete,” Kaepernick said in June. “That’s my mindset, and I’m excited to do that.”
Kaepernick spent the early part of the offseason rehabilitating in Vail, a short drive from Denver. That proximity allowed him to meet with Denver Broncos general manager John Elway while the 49ers and Broncos were discussing a trade involving Kaepernick.
The Broncos wanted Kaepernick to take a sizable pay cut, and the deal fell through.
In June, Kaepernick said he had no contact with 49ers general manager Trent Baalke.
Kaepernick’s dissatisfaction has been with the front office, not the coaching staff. He felt the 49ers reneged on an agreement to use the savings from the contract he signed in 2014 to retain the team’s free agents, and he was unhappy with leaks concerning him and his standing in the locker room before his benching last season.
Kaepernick’s agents sought and were granted permission to explore a trade in February, and the agents and the 49ers negotiated with the Broncos over the next month.
Kaepernick healed from his surgeries months ago, but he lost weight and strength during the recovery. Doctors have been waiting for Kaepernick to regain the weight and strength before giving him the final go-ahead for practice.
Last month, Kaepernick said he needed to add “quite a bit” of weight.
“It took a while for me to be able to get back in the weight room and start lifting and put some of that muscle back on,” he said. “Which is why I’m excited about this summer. The point I’m at right now, I can really start doing those things and get prepared for the season.”