Chargers TE Gates concerned about doing damage to foot

Chargers tight end Antonio Gates will see a specialist Tuesday for his injured right foot, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Gates sat out the Chargers' 20-17 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, one week after he was held without a catch in the Chargers' loss to the New England Patriots

Gates missed the final four games of the 2010 season after battling a torn plantar fascia for nearly two months, but the All-Pro tight end told the Union-Tribune the pain he currently feels is not as extreme as what he endured last year.

The Union-Tribune reported Gates' problems stem from scar tissue built up in Gates' foot over the past year. Twice during the preseason Gates tore the scar tissue and the tissue tore again during the final quarter of the Week 2 game against the Patriots. Gates told the Union-Tribune his decision essentially rests on either playing through the pain and dealing with weekly questions regarding his status, or taking at least three weeks off and hoping the time allows his foot to heal.

Gates underwent an MRI exam last week and said the test "looked great" but admitted that MRIs don't always tell the full story.

"It's always up to me and how much pain I can tolerate," Gates said. "And I think to me, that's the most deceiving thing about MRI, because they tell you how you (are) structurally. But they can't, no one can just tell you how you feel."

The seven-time Pro Bowl pick said his biggest concern was exacerbating the injury and doing long-term damage.

"I think I get the satisfaction of knowing that it's not anything that would hinder me from my career," Gates said. "But I do want to be me in the game. I think that's the bottom line for me. I don't want to ... just go out there and just be out there. I want to be able to run and do the things that I can do."

Gates said he would wait until later in the week to determine his availability for the Week 4 game against the Miami Dolphins.

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