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Elijah Mitchell to Have Surgery on Broken Finger

The 49ers are optismistic Mitchell will be able to practice this week and play through the injury.

Elijah Mitchell is injured again.

First he hurt his shoulder. Then he bruised his ribs. Now he has a broken finger, and the injury will require surgery, although the 49ers are optismistic Mitchell, their starting running back, will be able to practice this week and play through the injury.

"They have to put a pin it, how it fits and if they can protect it," head coach Kyle Shanahan said Tuesday on a conference call. "We think they'll be able to, but we won't know for sure until the guy that does the surgery does it. But he has a chance to practice tomorrow."

Q: What has he shown you with his ability to play through stuff?

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SHANAHAN: "He has showed us in all the aspects since he has gotten here that he has what it takes to be an NFL running back, in terms of the talent, the vision, the ability. You see the toughness in how hard he runs, but also the toughness of playing through all this stuff. We usually don't know until after the game, or in this case today, because he doesn't complain about much. He just goes to work. Some guys play with injuries, but the key to playing with injuries is not letting them make you worse. When he has played through some stuff, you don't notice it out there with his play."

Q: Are you surprised at how physical he is?

SHANAHAN: "We thought so to a degree watching him in college. He ran very hard, good zone runner. I think he looks a little smaller than he really is. He and Trey Sermon are the same weight, and Trey seems bigger, but they're about the same. But you can see it in practice, whether we have pads on or no pads, the guy is fearless, always going downhill, never shows any hesitation in his game."