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Chargers G Clary anxious to return to field

SAN DIEGO (AP) Jeromey Clary hasn't missed a snap at Chargers training camp.

The right guard hasn't played a down either.

''I hate it,'' Clary said after Tuesday's practice. ''It's terrible.''

While the Chargers work toward Friday's preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, Clary just watches. He's still mending after offseason shoulder and ankle surgeries and hopes to return for the Sept. 8 season opener at Arizona.

''I'm definitely chasing that, but we got to be smart because we don't have a lot of time for setbacks,'' said Clary, who's on the physically unable to perform list.

While Clary sits, the game moves on. Johnnie Troutman and rookie Chris Watt are competing in one of the camp's most spirited battles, vying for Clary's spot.

There's no assurance Clary, who started 15 games last year, will be fit when the season starts.

''I'm just trying not to get ahead of myself and take it a day at a time,'' said Clary, an eight-year pro. ''The rehab process is always two steps forward and one step back and that's really hard.

''I'm having a great day then all of sudden I'm having a bad one. It's tough to try to manage expectations and not letting me go crazy with it. I'm not good about being idle and patience is not one of my best virtues, so it has been tough.''

Clary helped his cause recently by restructuring his base salary from $4.5 million to $1.6 million. That gave the Chargers cap space and wiggle room in allowing Clary to finish his rehabilitation.

''I've been here my whole career and I'm very thankful for the opportunity to stay here,'' Clary said. ''It made sense.''

Not so much Clary standing around while teammates sweat as camp enters its final stretch.

''I imagine it's like sitting in the penalty box of an NHL game and all your buddies are out there having a good time and you are in a little box waiting for your moment,'' Clary said.

''I can't get any physical reps so I'm trying to get as many mental reps that I can. So I have the (practice) script and I stand behind the right guard so I can see what's going on to just stay in it as much as I can.''

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