Sports Out West

49ers news: Patrick Willis mostly healed and ready for opener

Photo Credit: Cary Edmondson / USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker Patrick Willis will be ready to play the season opener on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com.

The 28-year is still recovering from a broken right hand that he suffered on July 31 during practice in a 0ne-on-one pass-rush drill with fullback Bruce Miller. Willis returned to practice last week and in Wednesday’s practice he appeared ready to go as he participated fully with no limitation while also sporting the gloves he usually wears which did not feature any extra padding over his right hand. He was also not listed by the team on the injury report that is given to the league office.

“I feel like if I’m going to be on the field, I can’t let it affect my play,” Willis said. “I don’t want to cheat my teammates of anything. If I’m going to be out there, I have to make sure I’m ready to go and no excuses. Whatever needs to be done, I have to get it done.”

The Injury that he suffered is one that typically takes about two months to fully heal but the six-time Pro Bowl selection is optimistic and is not concerned about any possible setbacks.

“They say it takes eight weeks for a bone to completely heal,” Willis said. “This Friday, it’ll be five weeks since the surgery. But the doctor said it looks good. That’s a good thing.”

In his football career, it marks the fourth time Willis broke his right hand as he suffered this type of  injury once during his sophomore year at the University of Mississippi where he wore a cast during a portion of the season and twice in the NFL  as wore a cast during his rookie season in 2006 and in a game late in the 2010 season.

“Not the same spot,” Willis said. “I’m right-handed, so I tend to be a little bit more forceful with the right hand. It’s one of the things when it happened, I rushed a million times and got it stepped on and hit, everything. Something as small as what I did is what broke it.”

The six-year veteran appears to be ready for the season to begin as he is prepared to take on the Packers, who have an improved rushing attack with rookie running backs Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin, but  knows that he will be spending most of his time back in coverage defending against passes from quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

“We want to take away everything,” Willis said. “We know they added some running backs. They got a $100 million quarterback, so we knew they’re going to want him to throw the ball. They got some good receivers and a good tight end, so we know they’re not going to get too far away from what they do, and that’s pass.”

 

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Bob Garcia IV

Bob Garcia is a sports journalist from Southern California. He was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarcia90.