SAN DIEGO (AP) — Star tight end Antonio Gates has practiced with the San Diego Chargers for the first time in several weeks in hopes of playing against the New York Jets.

Gates has missed the last three games following a flare up in his lengthy bout with plantar fasciitis in his right foot.

Gates tore scar tissue near the injury Sept. 18 against New England. He hopes prolonged rest will alleviate the pain that hinders his effectiveness.

Monday was the first step in his return. Gates hopes to practice the rest of the week, but remains cautious about his playing status for Sunday’s road game.

Also Monday, running backs Ryan Mathews (calf) and Mike Tolbert (concussion-like symptoms) practiced as the Chargers (4-1) returned from their bye weekend. Receiver Vincent Jackson (hamstring), did not, but is expected to work later in the week.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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