The 49ers feared that linebacker Patrick Willis suffered a “slight fracture” of his right hand when he injured it during Wednesday’s practice. X-rays taken on Thursday reportedly proved them correct.
Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that those X-rays confirmed the 49ers’ suspicions about the preliminary diagnosis. Per Mortensen, the team will “proceed with caution” when it comes to Willis’ recovery and eventual return to the field. The linebacker is expected to be back in time to play in the season opener.
Willis has suffered breaks in his right hand two other times in his NFL career, neither of which interfered with his run of six Pro Bowl selections in six seasons. He also played part of a season in college with a cast on his hand, so he’s experienced with playing that way should it be necessary to protect himself.
The 49ers were also without linebacker NaVorro Bowman for part of Wednesday’s practice after he suffered a groin strain earlier this week.