By Marc Weinreich
August 09, 2012

The Chargers don't know when Jared Gaither will return from a back injury. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The San Diego Chargers' starting left tackle Jared Gaither is dealing with a back injury that may be more serious than initially expected and a timetable for his return is still uncertain, reports Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego:

His back ailment is healing slower than the Chargers hoped, and he will miss Thursday's preseason opener...Coach Norv Turner has expressed confidence in the team's ability to prepare him for the season in relatively short order.

Gaither has been out since July 28. Since the start of training camp, he's participated in just one full practice. Gehlken said the team is unsure whether Gaither will be ready to play against the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 18. In his absence, the team's undrafted rookie Michael Harris saw first-team reps.

The injury comes just months after Gaither signed a four-year deal with the Chargers for $24.5 million, including an $8 million signing bonus and $13.5 million guaranteed.

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