San Francisco 49ers

49ers injuries: As Michael Wilhoite returns, another linebacker exits

Michael Wilhoite, who started all 16 games last season at inside linebacker, will return from injury this week, Jim Tomsula said.
Michael Wilhoite, who started all 16 games last season at inside linebacker, will return from injury this week, Jim Tomsula said. The Bee

One inside linebacker enters, another leaves.

Jim Tomsula said Michael Wilhoite, who has missed all of training camp with a muscle strain, is scheduled to return to practice this week, which includes intrasquad sessions Wednesday and Thursday with the Broncos in Denver.

But the team will be without another inside linebacker, Desmond Bishop, who suffered a left thumb injury during Sunday's win over the Cowboys. Bishop, who finished tied for second on the team with four tackles, needs "a little procedure" that will keep the veteran out of action while the thumb and hand heal.

In addition, Tomsula said the 49ers will keep Philip Wheeler out of practice a little longer while he recovers from a muscle strain of his own. The 49ers' healthy inside linebackers are NaVorro Bowman, Nick Moody, Shayne Skov, Nick Bellore and Steve Beauharnais. The team has one open roster spot after dealing tight end Derek Carrier to Washington Friday.

Tomsula suggested Wilhoite, the only 49ers linebacker who started all 16 games last season, would be eased back into the mix. He ostensibly is competing with Moody for the starting spot next to Bowman.

"It's not, 'we go from zero to 100 in one day,'" he said of players returning from injury. "We're not going to do that."

Two other 49ers also are scheduled to return to practice: receiver Bruce Ellington and defensive end Glenn Dorsey. Ellington was one of two wideouts -- Dres Anderson was the other -- who sat out Sunday's game. Tony Jerod-Eddie started at Dorsey's left defensive end spot.

Running backs Reggie Bush and Kendall Hunter also did not play against Dallas. Tomsula said Tank Carradine, who left Sunday's game with a leg strain, will continue to practice. Tight end Vance McDonald (ankle), receiver Chuck Jacobs (ankle) and safety Craig Dahl (back) likely will miss a few days of practice.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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