Patrick Willis injury: 49ers LB will play through right hand fracture

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The veteran linebacker has only missed four games in his career. A broken bone in his hand apparently won't cause him to miss any this season.

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis suffered a slight fracture in his right hand in practice on Wednesday, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen. Willis underwent an X-ray on Thursday morning after feeling discomfort and icing his hand during the previous day's practice, according to CSN Bay Area. Mortensen also reports that the team will be cautious with Willis, but he is expected to play through the injury.

The seventh-year linebacker has suffered two hand fractures in his career before Wednesday, but has only missed four of a possible 96 games in his career. The veteran linebacker has made the Pro Bowl in each of his six seasons, including five First-Team All-Pro selections.

Last season Willis started all 16 games and recorded 120 tackles with two interceptions and two forced fumbles, including 10 tackles in the 49ers 34-31 loss to the Ravens in the Super Bowl. San Francisco is once again a favorite in the NFC, with Willis once again expected to be a leader of the defense.

Fellow linebacker NaVorro Bowman missed some of Wednesday's practice with a groin strain.

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