The injury bug is back in the Chargers locker room

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Week one of the San Diego Chargers ’09 season is in the books with a surprising opener and a whole lot of excitement.

Players have had a long off-season to heal injuries in hope of being 100% healthy and ready for another grueling season. However, staying healthy seems to be a problem this season so far, even after the very first game.

The Chargers managed to be injury-free until about 30 minutes into their first game when center Nick Hardwick suffered an ankle sprain and right guard Louis Vasquez injured his knee. These injuries will keep them out of practice during the week and possibly their home opener this Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.

Hardwick left Monday’s game on crutches after the Chargers 24-20 victory, and he remained in a protective boot Tuesday. “I’m doing better than I expected today, actually,” Hardwick told host Darren Smith during his weekly appearance on XX Sports Radio. These injuries gave Scott Mruczkowski and Brandyn Dombrowski a chance to prove that they are more than adequate replacements filling in at the center and guard positions respectively.

(courtesy of flickr)

(Photo from Flickr)

On the defensive line, Jamal Williams and Luis Castillo suffered elbow injuries and are expected to miss practice time this week and possibly more.

Then there is the man who keeps getting bit by the injury bug, LaDainian Tomlinson. He could very well miss this Sunday’s game after suffering a sprained ankle against the Raiders. Luckily, the Chargers have a back-up plan in place with Michael Bennett. “We don’t have to play him like we did a year ago when his toe was bothering him,” head coach Norv Turner said of Tomlinson. “That’s why Michael is here.”

The Chargers are hoping that the next few days of rest can rejuvenate their injuries in time for Sunday’s contest. If not, Turner has faith in his young replacements. He stated, “We are fortunate to have depth. Some of it is very, very young depth, and they’re going to learn as they go through it.”

As the Entertainer reported yesterday, the Chargers game will be aired on local television after CBS8 bought up the remaining tickets. The game is at Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday at 1:15 pm.

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