Jim Harbaugh expects Patrick Willis to be ready for start of season

Patrick Willis of the San Francisco 49ers walks off of the field dejected after the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl on February 3, 2013
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San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh says that he expects linebacker Patrick Willis to recover from a hand injury before the first game of the season.

Jim Harbaugh has confirmed that he expects Patrick Willis to be fit for the start of the 2013 NFL season.

The San Francisco 49ers linebacker sustained a suspected hand fracture during yesterday's practice.

When asked by reporters whether the 28-year-old would play against the Green Bay Packers in week one, the head coach said: "Yes, yes, for what I know now yeah. He's got something he's going to be working through with his hand.

"I mean, there are things that still have to play out. We're still only seven practices in right now, so I'm not going to speculate on that. I expect him to be back and it won't be something that keeps him out very long.

"Well, there's been some nicks and you try to dodge bullets. Sometimes you don't dodge them all. But, what it means right now is there's guys that are getting an opportunity to show what they can do. If there's a positive there. And there's people that are doing that."

Willis made 120 tackles, two forced fumbles and two interceptions for the 49ers in 2012.

Patrick Willis of the San Francisco 49ers walks off of the field dejected after the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl on February 3, 2013
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