Cornerback Cason could return for opener after surgery

SAN DIEGO -- Chargers cornerback Antoine Cason had surgery on his fractured right index finger on Monday, leaving him in "good position to be ready for the season," coach Norv Turner said.

Turner said it's not known yet whether Cason, who fractured the finger in defending a pass during practice Sunday, will be available for the team's first two preseason games.

"I'm a little upset," Cason told *The* *Union-Tribune* on Monday. "It's a hiccup ... I'll be back out there soon."

"Cason will be fine," Turner said.

On Monday, rookies Marcus Gilchrist and Shareece Wright got some of Cason's snaps. Turner praised Gilchrist, a second-round draft pick out of Clemson.

"I like everything that Gilchrist has done," Turner said.

"One thing that's jumped out -- and I think it's a starting point for corners -- is he's shown he's very physical. He's come up and filled the run. He's been very aggressive."

Veteran Dante Hughes, who can start practicing on Thursday, also will get extra work.

A first-round pick in 2008, Cason is coming off his first season as a full-time starter. He started 15 games last season, with 67 tackles, by far his most-productive season since being drafted by San Diego in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

The Union-Tribune also reported that second-year running back Ryan Mathews missed practice with "soreness" but should return to the field in a couple days.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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