SANTA CLARA -- The toe injury that has sidelined Patrick Willis for the last month will require surgery that will end the Pro Bowl linebacker's season, multiple sources confirmed today. FOX Sports was the first to report Willis' pending surgery. The procedure will occur next week.
Willis has been dealing with a muscle strain in the big toe on his left foot. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said last week the injury hasn't improved.
Rookie Chris Borland has filled in at the so-called “Mike” inside linebacker spot and has jumped out in the last two games. He has a combined 35 tackles in those two contests and he pounced on the overtime fumble Sunday that led to the 49ers' victory.
The team's other Pro Bowl linebacker, NaVorro Bowman, has not played this year as he comes back from an ACL tear suffered in late January. Jim Harbaugh said today on KNBR radio that doctors wanted to take an MRI of Bowman's knee before opening a three-week window for Bowman to resume practicing with the team.
If all goes well, the 49ers presumably would add Bowman to the 53-man roster at the end of those three weeks.
Willis tried to play in the team’s Week 9 game against the Rams but the injury prevented him.
“It's not like having having a broken middle finger where you can put a pad on it and go,” he said at the time. “My feet have made me who I am today.”
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.