The scrum-half has been named in the team to face Munster in Limerick - his first appearance since the tour of New Zealand.
Bates said: "One of the important things for Chris was to be around other nines and tens of the quality found in the Lions' party.
"He has picked up subtle things from people like Matt Dawson and through working alongside Jonny Wilkinson and Stephen Jones.
"The biggest impact could well be on Chris's mental and cognitive skills rather than any physical dimension. We may see more variety in his play."