Chargers TE Gates says he's leaning toward toe surgery

SAN DIEGO -- ChargersPro Bowl tight end Antonio Gates is leaning toward having surgery to repair the dislocated left big toe that slowed him during the playoffs.

According to various reports out of Indianapolis, site of the NFL Scouting Combine, Gates said he'll decide by Wednesday whether to have surgery. Gates was at the combine to meet with medical specialists.

"There's a higher chance I'm going to have surgery," Gates told reporters in Indianapolis.

Chargers general manager A.J. Smith and coach Norv Turner didn't return phone calls seeking comment.

Gates was hurt in a wild-card playoff win over Tennessee. He was limited in San Diego's win over Indianapolis and the AFC Championship Game loss to New England.

Gates is one of three Chargers stars who were injured during the playoffs.

Running back LaDainian Tomlinson sprained his left knee in the win over the Colts and aggravated it early in the Patriots game, then sat out the remainder of that game even though the team announced to the media that he could return.

Quarterback Philip Rivers tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee against the Colts, had arthroscopic surgery on it the next day and then played against the Patriots. Rivers had reconstructive surgery Jan. 23.

Gates and Tomlinson both pulled out of the Pro Bowl because of their injuries.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

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