Money player on defence felled by flu

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:56 AM ET

MONTREAL -- Mike Labinjo couldn't go anywhere yesterday, and he won't be going anywhere next year, either.

The Calgary Stampeders defensive end missed practice yesterday with a nasty flu and is questionable to play in tomorrow's Grey Cup at Olympic Stadium.

But sources have confirmed the soon-to-be free-agent has worked out a contract extension to stay in Calgary.

The deal will be announced sometime next week.

Labinjo wasn't feeling well Thursday afternoon, according to roommate Wes Lysack, but went to the CFL awards ceremony anyway to root on teammates Sandro DeAngelis and Henry Burris.

When Lysack woke Labinjo up yesterday morning, he said the 280-lb. defensive end wasn't looking good but still went to his positional meeting.

By the time the entire defence met before practice, Labinjo was back in his room.

"Hopefully, he can get it out of his system," Lysack said.

"He's a big boy, and he struggles enough with his energy. This could be pretty tough on him.

"It's good it's Friday and not Saturday. Hopefully, it's just a 24-hour thing, and he will be able to come back and be good for a full day."

Labinjo was a monster in the West final win over the B.C. Lions, recording eight defensive tackles, three quarterback sacks and a forced fumble. He also had two tackles for losses on a goal-line stand.

On Thursday, he hinted his extension may be in the works and that he had no desire to become a free agent.

"We have a good thing going here, and I would like it to continue," Labinjo said at the team luncheon Thursday. "I like Calgary, and I would like to stay."

It could be the excitement of Grey Cup week that caused Labinjo to catch a flu, but the Stamps can only hope it doesn't spread or is perhaps food poisoning.

"There's no doubt when you go through excitement, stress or anxiety, your body gets worn out," Lysack said. "It's a huge game for all of us, but him being my roommate and one of my best friends, I know he's excited for this.

"He's probably worried about this like anybody."

As soon as Labinjo got sick, Lysack scrambled to get his own accommodations away from his pal so he wouldn't catch it and it wouldn't spread throughout the locker-room.

"Since then, I got myself another room," Lysack said. "They found me one. I'm not getting sick.

"I want to be there for him, but there's no point in two of us getting sick. Losing two Canadian starters on defence wouldn't be good."


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