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Chargers' Pagano talks about brother's illness

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SAN DIEGO (AP)

Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano spoke publicly for the first time Thursday about his brother Chuck, the Indianapolis Colts' head coach who was diagnosed with a treatable form of Leukemia last week.

The illness became public knowledge on Monday, when it was reported Chuck Pagano would be away from his team for an indefinite period of time.

John Pagano declined comment on Monday, but was grateful for the outpouring of public support in recent days.

''It's been tough for my brother with what he's going through,'' Pagano said Thursday. ''I want to thank everybody for their thoughts, prayers and well wishes extended to our family. It means a lot.

''Chuck is doing good. He's a fighter, and he's going to fight right through this. We text and talk all the time which is good, but it's a challenge for him. That said, he's going to overcome this. There's no doubt about that.''

In other news, Chargers kicker Nate Kaeding said the right groin strain suffered last Friday will not keep him out for an extended period. Nick Novak kicked in his place on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, but Kaeding said he doesn't expect to miss many more contests.

He characterized the strain as a ''day-to-day'' injury, nothing terribly serious. Kaeding missed three weeks with a similar, more severe groin strain in 2010.

''This isn't the same,'' Kaeding said. ''In my mind, it's just a hiccup. We caught it early this time, and it shouldn't be too long before I get going again.''

Kaeding has exercised and gone through technical motions, but hasn't kicked a ball since the injury.

''That's obviously the biggest thing,'' Kaeding said. ''I obviously need to do that before I can start doing my job again. The training staff is monitoring it every day and I plan on returning as soon as possible.''

Kaeding missed the 2011 season after tearing several knee ligaments on the season's opening kickoff.

The Chargers are healthy heading into Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints. Other than Kaeding, only cornerback Shareece Wright (ankle) missed Thursday's practice, which was conducted in pads.

Tagged: Chargers, Nate Kaeding

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