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Gates on schedule

Discussion in 'American Football' started by boltmanbz, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. boltmanbz

    boltmanbz Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2006
    Monday, Jul 21, 2008
    By Casey Pearce, Chargers.com
    The big story of the day Monday was expected to be the first practice of training camp for rookies, first-year players and select veterans. Instead, the big sight that got things buzzing at Chargers Park was a big toe.

    While several of his teammates were practicing, tight end Antonio Gates was on the field turf a few yards a way going through a workout with a member of the Chargers’ athletic training staff. It was the first time the media had seen Gates run since the All Pro underwent an operation on his left toe in February.

    “I’ve come a long way,” said Gates, whose recovery period was originally estimated at four to six months. “I was able to cut and run and stride and move and feel good about doing it. I think the majority of the thing is mental, being able to overcome the surgery mentally. After today I felt really good about cutting on my left foot and making sharp cuts in game-like situations.”

    Monday’s workout included drills that had Gates jumping hurdles, cutting and running straight ahead. He estimated that he’s at 65-70 percent physically, which is a lot further than he was when he started running.

    At this point, Gates nor the Chargers coaching staff has set a date on a possible return, but Head Coach Norv Turner is pleased with how hard his star tight end has worked.

    “I’m real encouraged by where Antonio is,” Turner said. “He still has a ways to go. His toe is obviously making great progress. He’s obviously out there with cleats on and running. He’s got a lot of work to do over the next six weeks to get himself ready to go play, but it won’t take a lot to get him ready to go play in games once he’s physically ready.”

    Turner said based on what he’s seen, he’s optimistic that Gates will be available when the Chargers kick off their regular season against the Carolina Panthers on September 7.

    “That’s the plan all the way along, and he’s on schedule,” Turner said. “I would think if he doesn’t have a setback there’s a good chance that would happen. Based on the way he looked today and based on conversations and the progress he’s made over the last month, he’s ahead of schedule.”

    As for any work during the preseason for Gates, that’s yet to be determined. Turner expects that Gates will spend at least the next couple weeks working on the side.

    “I’d like Antonio to get his body as physically ready as he can,” Turner said. “If he’s able to practice and play in the first couple weeks of the preseason, to me that’s a bonus. If it happens before that, we’re not going to use him a lot. If physically he’s alright, he doesn’t need a lot of work to get ready to play.

    Gates said Monday was the third time he’d been through that particular workout, although he’s been running on a treadmill and rehabbing the toe for quite some time. Gates feels like he’s made strides with each session, but his biggest obstacle at this point is dealing with the pain.

    “Every time I do it I see progress,” Gates said. “The first time I went out there I wasn’t able to finish the workout. By the second time I finished it but I was really, really sore. Now it’s to the point where I can finish the workout and the next day be a little bit sore. Hopefully I can eventually get through the workout and feel really good the next day.”

    Gates originally injured his toe during the Chargers’ Wild Card playoff win over the Tennessee Titans. He fought through the pain to play in the Bolts’ Divisional Playoff win at Indianapolis the next week as well as the AFC Championship Game two weeks later. He was advised that playing on the toe couldn’t do any further damage, so he gutted it out and remains happy with his decision to play.

    “My mind was set on the goal,” Gates said. “At this point I don’t regret it because we had a legitimate shot to win the Super Bowl. Needless to say it was very painful. When I look back at the situation, I understand that certain situations are once in a lifetime opportunities. I made a decision to go out and play. I am happy with my decision at this point. I’m just working to get back out there so we can hopefully make another run.”

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

    Oct 13, 2006
    Nice read and good news.

    Thanks boltmanbz.
  3. AnteaterRaider

    AnteaterRaider Carpe Diem et omni Mundio Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Jan 19, 2006
    thank goodness
  4. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

    Aug 3, 2006
    From personal experience, he is ready for game one. He needs training camp as much as LT. That leaves Hardwick, but since the Charger staff has gotten Gates this far, Hardwick might miss the PUP.
  5. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2005
    Just like I figured. Norv plans on using Gates in very limited capacity, if at all, for the first two preseason games.

    Then he can get up to speed the second two preseason games.

  6. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    Good news on Gates. :tup: Just keep bringing him along slowly. If he can't play in preseason, no big deal. He knows the ropes. Getting through this injury & conditioning are the things that AG should concentrate on.

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