49ers' Gore practices, confident he'll play well vs. Cardinals

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Frank Gore's injured right knee has healed enough to practice on and the two-time Pro Bowl running back expects to play for the San Francisco 49ers when they host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Gore said Thursday that he hyperextended his knee against the New York Giants last Sunday, but he expects to play against the Cardinals.

"I want to be out there bad," he said. "I'll play. I'll play good."

Gore had his franchise-record streak of five straight games with 100 or more yards rushing end last week against the Giants when he was in njured and held to zero yards on six carries -- his first career game without a yard.

Keeping Gore healthy for the playoffs is paramount.

Gore has had two major knee operations, countless ankle injuries and will be reminded of his most recent major setback when he takes the field against the Cardinals at Candlestick Park. He fractured his hip in a Monday night game against Arizona last November, cutting his season short and leaving everybody wondering whether he'd ever be an elite back again.

He's answered those questions this season to the tune of 782 rushing yards and five touchdowns this season. He also has 14 catches for 86 yards and has been a key cog in pass protection during San Francisco's seven-game winning streak. 

"Since we got on a roll, we've just been running the ball successfully," Gore said. "Everybody's been trying to stop it."

Gore has 7,196 career yards rushing and needs 149 more to pass late Hall of Famer Joe Perry (7,344) for the most in 49ers history.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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