Steve Young, sidelined indefinitely by his latest concussion, still is gathering medical advice on whether he should play again and no decision on his football future is imminent.
"There's been like a death watch in the press," Leigh Steinberg, the agent for the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, said Friday. "Steve just wants to step back and get a chance to breathe. He's just a person trying to make a decision but we don't have to make one right now."
Young, 38, who sustained his fourth concussion in three years Sept. 27 against Arizona, has missed three games. It's uncertain whether he'll get medical clearance to rejoin the 49ers and return to the field.
General manager Bill Walsh had said the club planned to address Young's future next week but that now has been delayed indefinitely. The possibility remains that Young could be placed on injured reserve if doctors recommend a prolonged period away from football.
Young, 38, a two-time NFL MVP who led San Francisco to its last Super Bowl win in 1994, would be finished for the season if he were to go on IR. Even under that scenario, Steinberg said Young probably wouldn't make a decision about his playing future until the end of the season.
Young already has received a long-term recommendation from his neurologist, Dr. Gary Steinberg, who is not related to the agent.
That recommendation hasn't been revealed, but indications are it was negative. Leigh Steinberg would say only that Young's neurologist has expressed serious concern about the potential for long-term health risks, especially since Young has continued to have post-concussion symptoms nearly a month after the head blow.
However, Young still wants to play and doesn't want to walk away from football based on the opinion of one doctor. He flew to Provo, Utah, on Tuesday to consult with another neurologist and might seek a third opinion from another doctor in the next week or so.
"It's unlikely he'll be cleared to play football any time soon," Leigh Steinberg said. "We're continuing to gather more opinions and information in what is a murky medical area."
"What we do know is this: Steve still wants to play but he's said if he's risking his future health he will not play. But we're still in a fact-finding mode. We're going through this process in a measured and prudent way and that could take weeks, or months."
"And I'm not even speaking to the issue of whether Steve plays again. That's totally a function of what the doctors say and how Steve and the 49ers assess any risks. But we'll make that decision when the time comes, and we're not there yet."
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