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Expect Bush to be out awhile

Note: I’ll be involved with a live chat during the course of the game and will post a wrapup later this evening.

Based on what information is available regarding the fractured thumb of running back Michael Bush, it’s highly unlikely he’d be ready to play in the opener and could miss up to a quarter of the season or more.

Bush broke his thumb on his last carry when 49ers safety Michael Lewis hit him with his helmet, with coach Tom Cable saying it was fractured following the game and saying Monday “he’ll need a procedure on it, and whether that keeps him out or not remains to be seen.”

On his Twitter account, Bush said it was a “Bennett fracture” and even showed pictures of himself before surgery.

Cable has since declined to discuss the injury and wouldn’t confirm the surgery had taken place.

According to Dr. Michael Schwartz, an orthopedic surgeon based in New York who is the team doctor for Hofstra University and has served in that capacity for the New Jersey Dragons of the Arena Football League and the New York Islanders of the NHL, a time span of four to six weeks following surgery would be a “best case scenario,” conceding he was speaking in general terms and did not know the specifics of Bush’s injury.

Schwartz said surgery for a “Bennett’s fracture” would normally entail have screws inserted into the bone to speed the healing process, and theye’d be left in once it healed and the player returned to action. The fracture as it the base of the first metacarpal bone where “it articulates with the bones in the wrist.”

If Bush were to be out four weeks from the time of surgery, he would be available to practice for the in the days preceding the Houston Texans game on Oct. 3 in Week 4.

Six weeks would mean Bush could be ready to face the 49ers on On Oct. 6 in Week 6.

Schwartz said that in the case of a lineman or linebacker, the injured player could be fitted with a “club” and be back in two to three weeks.

Bush’s health will affect how the Raiders approach their final cutdown, which takes place Saturday. They are more likely to keep both Rock Cartwright and Michael Bush, rather than releasing one of them, to provide depth behind Darren McFadden.

The Raiders also could be on the lookout for running backs released by other teams (Justin Fargas, anyone?).

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer