SAN DIEGO, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman is trying to decide if his ailing left knee will allow him to play this season, ESPN reported.
The first-round pick by the Chargers in the 2005 NFL draft out of Maryland says he has ligament damage and is evaluating his options.
The Pro Bowl pick in each of his three NFL seasons said surgery crossed his mind after he "played in pain" at the end of the 2007 season.
The 6-foot-4 inch, 272-pound pass-rushing specialist underwent surgery to repair cartilage damage five months ago after visiting noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., but has had persistent pain in the knee during training camp.
"It's finding out what do I need to fix what I need to do," he told the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper. "If it's left up to me, I want to play football. I can't stand sitting out."