Steve Young appears headed for the injured reserve list because of persistent post-concussion symptoms, a move that would finish his season and could signal the end of his career.
No decision has been made, but the agent for the San Francisco 49ers quarterback said today he doesn't intend to let Young play again this year and apparently the team and Young's doctors feel the same way.
"I'm determined he not risk anything more this year," Leigh Steinberg said in an interview with San Francisco's KCBS radio. "He's probably going to end up on injured reserve. This is a football injury. He was hurt on the field and that's where those players go.
"But the news is not encouraging. It's not real cheery. Obviously, to show symptoms this many weeks later is not a positive sign."
The 38-year-old Young is expected to discuss his condition and status with the team on Wednesday in a meeting with the media. It's his first such meeting in two weeks since word surfaced that his primary neurologist, Gary Steinberg, who is unrelated to the agent, had made a long-term recommendation about whether Young should play again.
"I think he'll be able to clear some things up, be a little more definitive," Coach Steve Mariucci said. "Is anything drastic going to happen? No."
While Gary Steinberg's opinion hasn't been disclosed, Young has conceded the report was "discouraging" and his agent said the initial medical opinion has been reaffirmed in consultations with other specialists.
Young continues to speak with some of his contemporaries who were forced out of the game by repeated concussions, including Al Toon and Merrill Hoge. He's also gathering more medical advice and may see another specialist this week, but he and General Manager Bill Walsh have both said that they would give greatest weight to Gary Steinberg's conclusions.
Leigh Steinberg said there would be no decision or announcement on the possibility of Young's retirement until after the season.