SAN FRANCISCO -- Based on how easily Aldon Smith goofed around during a dodgeball-like game at the Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco on Wednesday, his torn labrum is healing up just fine.
The 49ers sack leader aims to be ready for the start of training camp in late July.
"I'm ahead of schedule, if anything," Smith said Wednesday. "I'm out here right now with no brace on or anything a couple of weeks after surgery. So I'm doing good."
Smith had repeatedly insisted that his shoulder wasn't a problem as his production faded down the stretch. (He had zero sacks over his final six games).
On Wednesday, Smith said the torn labrum diagnosis came after the season. Asked if it had been tough to play
Smith still managed to set a franchise record 19.5 sacks during the regular season, which is why he was able to present a check Wednesday for $99,432 to be split between the Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco (Willie Mays Clubhouse at Hunters Point) and the Boys & Girls Clubs of The Peninsula (East Palo Alto Clubhouse).
Smith had pledged to donate $5,099 for each sack.
Before handing over the oversized check, Smith delighted his young audience by joining them for a game of "Junkyard Dog." The goal for the kids was to race from one end of the basketball court to
Listed at 6-foot-4, 248 pounds, Smith was the biggest kid on the court.
"I got a couple of 'em," he said with a laugh. "But these kids are fast and squirmy."
Smith also participated in a Q&A with an audience that ranged in age from 6 to 18. One little girl asked him what his number was. "Ninety-nine," Smith replied. So she clarified: "No, what's your phone number.
A boy asked the second-year player if he was rich. "A little bit," Smith laughed.
In an interview when it was over, Smith explained that he was a big fan of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America because he spent a lot of time there while growing up in Raytown, Missouri.
"It was a place of security, a place I could go with my friends," he said. "It was place where I could get away from some of the street things that were going on."
James Holley, the clubhouse director for the San Francisco club, said Smith's donation would help pay for a new heater and new computers, as well as other outdated equipment. Holley also said that no celebrity guest had ever generated as much buzz as Smith.
"I've seen Willie Mays come in here and Herschel Walker and I've never seen them react with as much excitement as they did when Aldon walked through those doors," Holley said. "I can tell you that there's some kids who haven't been in the club in a while that popped in today. I guess the word got around quick that he was coming."