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Defensive end Nick Bosa will miss the entire preseason with a high ankle sprain, 49ers general manager John Lynch told KNBR on Thursday morning. 

But it could have been so much worse. 

"Our first gut reaction was it was gonna be the year," 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said to KNBR. 

Shanahan says the 49ers feared Bosa, the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, suffered a knee injury. The entire franchise let out a collective deep breath when they found out it instead was a "serious ankle injury." 

"It could have been a lot worse," Shanahan said. "The way we saw it on tape -- we had a big pile up, he had a very big man fall on his leg. I think we were very fortunate that he's a good enough athlete where he was able to get his leg out of there, because I think for a lot of other people, it would have been his knee.

"But he got it caught up and there's nothing he could have done about it. 

Bosa played just three games his final year at Ohio State before undergoing season-ending surgery for an injured core muscle. He dealt with a hamstring issue earlier this offseason, too. Once the news of his ankle sprain surfaced, Twitter was quick to call the rookie "injury prone." 


Shanahan believes that's simply not fair at all. 

"I know the perception out there with him missing last year in college and it's unfortunate with this guy, because he is competing out there and playing as physical as anyone I've seen and we had a big man fall on his leg," Shanahan said. 

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When healthy, Bosa has opened eyes during training camp as an immediate impact player. The 49ers are hopeful he will play in Week 1 of the regular season against the Buccaneers, but it's not a guarantee.