San Francisco 49ers defensive end Justin Smith returned to practice today for the first time since suffering a partially torn triceps on Dec. 16.

Smith wore a plastic brace on his left arm to protect the injury, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. He participated in individual drills and the 49ers will likely take it easy with him as they have a bye this weekend giving Smith more time to work his way back from an injury that could require offseason surgery.

Smith missed the final two games of the season and the hope is he can gut it out for the postseason. Outside linebacker Aldon Smith has not had a sack since Justin Smith went out.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune