Beasley to undergo hand surgery

<P>Fred Beasley will undergo surgery on Monday to repair his fractured right hand, but the Niners' starting fullback is expected to be in the lineup for next Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys. </P>

Beasley injured the fourth metacarpal on the hand during the first half of Saturday's 13-3 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. He left the game and didn't return, but is listed as probable for Dallas.

 "We'll cast it up and that sort of thing, and then he's just going to keep blocking linebackers like he's been," Niners coach Steve Mariucci said. "He'll probably miss a practice or two, but he should be ready to go."

After beating AFC East leader Miami and NFC East leader Philadelphia the past two weeks, Mariucci said playing the last-place Cowboys this week won't be an excuse to rest some of his marquee players who are nursing minor nagging injuries.

"We're not there at all. We've got to win that game," Mariucci said. "This game against Dallas is a very important game for us. We're still fighting for the (NFC West) division championship. We're not out of the picture yet. We're still fighting for a home playoff game. That's certainly a possibility. Right now, we're going into the Dallas game thinking this is another playoff-type game."

After improving to 11-3 with the victory over Philadelphia, Mariucci gave his players Sunday, Monday and Tuesday off to rest and enjoy the Christmas holiday.

"It will be important for us to freshen up a little bit," Mariucci said. "It's almost like a mini-bye week. They get to take a step back and freshen up for the next two road games and then wherever we're going to play after that (in the playoffs)."


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