Patrick Willis Injury: Updates on 49ers LB's Hand
The defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers are already dealing with one significant injury as star wide receiver Michael Crabtree is out for the bulk of the season with a torn Achilles, but now standout linebacker Patrick Willis as well.
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UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 4
Pro Football Talk's Josh Alper has an update:
Willis has resumed practicing and coach Jim Harbaugh said at his press conference Wednesday that he thinks Willis will be on the field when the Packers roll into Candlestick to kick off the 2013 season for both clubs. Harbaugh said that it was possible that Willis would wear a cast on the hand to protect it from further injury, something that shouldn’t cause him much trouble.
UPDATE: Tuesday, Aug. 27
From Taylor Price of 49ers.com:
Patrick Willis at practice in blue non-contact jersey.— Taylor Price (@TaylorPrice49) August 27, 2013
From Sunday Night Football on NBC:
TAFOYA: SF LB Patrick Willis told me he's hopeful he'll be ready to play in the opener vs. Green Bay— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) August 25, 2013
UPDATE: Thursday, August 1, by Tom Kinslow
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com has an update on Patrick Willis' ailing hand.
Big doctor's appointment looming today for 49ers LB Patrick Willis on his hand. To him, it hurts but he thinks it's fine. Maybe small crack?— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 1, 2013
UPDATE: Thursday, August 1, by Sam Westmoreland
ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports the latest on Willis' hand.
49ers LB Patrick Willis does have a slight fracture in right hand, as suspected. Team will proceed with caution. Ready for regular season.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) August 1, 2013
UPDATE: Thursday, August 1, by Brandon Galvin
NBC's Mike Florio has the latest on Patrick Willis:
The good news for the 49ers is that, per a league source, 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis feels fine after injuring his right hand during practice on Wednesday. The bad news is that Willis nevertheless may have a 'slight fracture' in his hand.
According to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area, Willis will undergo an X-ray on his right hand Thursday after suffering an injury to it early in Wednesday's practice.
Although it is unclear precisely when and how the injury occurred, Maiocco believes that it might have happened during a blitz pickup drill as Willis collided with fullback Bruce Miller. After that, he iced his hand and sat out the rest of Wednesday's session.
This type of injury is particularly troubling when it comes to Willis because he has already broken his hand on two occasions. Willis played with a cast on his hand for part of the 2007 season, and he played two games with a broken hand in 2010. Pain management has never been an issue for Willis as he has missed a grand total of four games during his six-year career.
Willis is unquestionably one of the premier linebackers in the NFL today as he has made the Pro Bowl and been named an All-Pro in each of his six NFL seasons. Willis also happens to anchor what many believe to be the best defense in all of football.
The Niners are favored to reach the Super Bowl once again this season, but they'll need Willis in order to do it. Expect the 49ers' trainers and coaches to be very cautious with Willis in order to ensure that his hand issue doesn't linger into the regular season.
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