SAN DIEGO (AP) - San Diego Chargers center Nick Hardwick returned to the practice field for the first time since injuring his left ankle in the season opener.
Hardwick practiced on Wednesday, although he most likely won't play in Sunday's home game against Oakland.
Hardwick, who was wearing a brace on his ankle, was limited to individual work during the practice session, and said he's still a few weeks away.
Hardwick was hurt in the season opener at Oakland and had surgery. The team said then it expected him to be out eight weeks.
"It felt good to get back in costume, but we don't know how close or far away I actually am," Hardwick said. "It'll depend on how it feels tomorrow. We'll stress it again and make another evaluation. It's a process."
Coach Norv Turner said there's no timetable. "It's another step closer to where he wants to be," Turner said.
Outside linebacker Shawne Merriman was limited in practice with a foot injury. Inside linebacker Kevin Burnett (ankle) and nose tackle Ogemdi Nwagbuo (ankle) missed practice.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.