The Chargers said Harbaugh had told them before his trade from Baltimore was finalized that he sometimes felt pain in the knee, but that he thought it was tendinitis. An exam during his physical on Monday confirmed loose cartilage, general manager Bobby Beathard said.
"He could have played with it but wanted to get it fixed," Beathard said.
Harbaugh, acquired for a conditional fifth-round draft pick in 2000, should be ready for the team's first minicamp from April 6-8, Beathard said.
Harbaugh was bothered last year by finger and elbow injuries.
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