Willis on crutches after ‘minor’ knee procedure

All-Pro 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis is getting around on crutches following surgery last week on his right knee. Willis underwent a bursectomy – the removal of a bursa sac in his knee, the 49ers confirmed today.

Willis did not play in the Pro Bowl after experiencing swelling in his right knee due to a case of bursitis. Willis has played in all 48 games in his three-year career.


There is no structural problem with Willis’ knee, but the 49ers will adjust his offseason workout regimen to best accommodate his rehabilitation from the relatively “minor” surgery.


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The offseason conditioning program consists of no football work on the field with coaches, although 49ers head strength and conditioning coach Duane Carlisle paces the players through conditioning on the field. The players also take part in their weight program.


Players can take it on their own to work in the film room and track down coaches to engage in football talk. Players can also, on their own, head out to the practice field to work on such things as playing pitch and catch.


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In other notes:


–Receiver Michael Crabtree reported today to begin the offseason program. The offseason work is a contractual obligation for Crabtree. Approximately $15 million in escalators over the course of his contract is contingent on 90-percent participation in voluntary offseason workouts. Some have referred to this part of his contract as the “diva clause.” Crabtree missed Monday and Tuesday. The program is Monday through Thursday, but Friday is available for players as a “make up day.”


–Running back Frank Gore, as he often does, has remained in Miami to work out on his own. Coach Mike Singletary has always been understanding of trusted veteran players sticking to their offseason routines and working out “off site.”


–Tight end Vernon Davis is expected to report to Santa Clara for the offseason program in the next week or two.


–Players who remain unsigned are not able to participate in the offseason program without signing a waiver. Restricted free agents David Baas and Ahmad Brooks, as well as franchise player Aubrayo Franklin, remain unsigned and have not taken part in the program.


(UPDATE: Baas attended today’s activities.)


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