Jim Harbaugh thinks Patrick Willis will play Sunday

AP

It’s been just about a month since 49ers linebacker had surgery to repair a slight fracture in his right hand, an injury that kept him out of the entire preseason.

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.

Willis has played with broken bones in his hand more than once over the course of his career and there shouldn’t be too much lost from his ability to make plays as long as he’s able to handle any pain that might come up during the game. He said Wednesday that he wasn’t going to let it affect him and said that there are no excuses for anything less than a strong performance if he is on the field on Sunday.

Anyone who has seen the 49ers in the last few years is well aware of how important Willis is to the defense. His presence in Week One would be a very good development for the  defense.