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Draft picks Vasquez, English healing, could play Saturday vs. Cards

SAN DIEGO -- The Chargers received good news Tuesday regarding top draft picks Larry English and Louis Vasquez, both of whom had missed almost two weeks of practice.

Vasquez, a right guard drafted in the third round, took the field after missing 12 straight practices with a sprained foot. A hamstring problem kept English, a first-round pick from practicing, but he ran well on a side field and on a hill above the Chargers' practice fields.

Both said they were optimistic about playing in Saturday's preseason game at Arizona. Vasquez was encouraged by his practice session and said he felt fine.

"It has been progressing every day," Vasquez said. "I came out and felt good, so I kept on rolling through practice and was able to finish out. I felt pretty good on my assignments. I obviously have a lot of work to do, but I'm going to go out and keep grinding."

Chargers coach Norv Turner described English's practice prospects as day-to-day, but the outside linebacker who was drafted No. 16 overall also hopes to play against the Cardinals. To do so, he'll have to be cleared for practice by Thursday at the latest.

"That's the goal," English said. "We don't know for sure yet, but we'll find out within the next couple days.

Veteran outside linebacker Shawne Merriman skipped both practices as part of his scheduled rest.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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