Report: 49ers LB Patrick Willis has surgery on fractured hand

This isn't the first time Patrick Willis has had to deal with a broken right hand. (USATSI)
Patrick Willis has had surgery on his fractured right hand, according to an ESPN.com report. The 49ers' inside linebacker sustained the injury late last week, but he is expected to return to the field before the team's first regular season game on against the Packers on Sept. 8.

Willis might have sustained the injury when he collided with fullback Bruce Miller in a blitz pickup drill. The linebacker has broken his right hand twice before during his seven-year NFL career though he has been able to play through the pain, missing a meaningless Week 17 game back in 2010. The No. 11 pick in the 2007 draft, Willis also wore a cast on his hand during his sophomore season at Ole' Miss.

During the 49ers' run to the Super Bowl last season, Willis had 88 tackles, a half a sack, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. For his career, he's earned Pro Bowl and All Pro honors six times, and was the AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2007.

In case you're wondering, Nick Moody, the team's 2013 sixth-round pick out of Florida State, is listed as Willis' backup.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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