Joey Boese was, to say the least, out his element the last five weeks.
Other than for a sprained ankle that cost him two high school games, the Stampeders import halfback has never had to stand back and watch. But a partially torn hamstring suffered more than a month ago in a game against Winnipeg forced the third-year starter into the unfamiliar realm of spectator.
After rehabbing, watching and waiting, the Stamps' only returnee from last season's starting secondary is back on the practice field determined to get some licks in Saturday in Hamilton.
"Coming out and watching practice for two hours gets a little tedious," concedes Boese, 25, after participating in yesterday's workout. "Being in meetings and paying attention and doing all the normal things you take for granted, when you sit out, opens up your eyes a little bit and you appreciate the situation.
"I missed two games in high school with a sprained ankle when I was 15 years old. Other than that, I've never missed a game, so this last stretch has been a little bit difficult.
"Now I'm excited to get back on the field."
Import halfback Anthony Malbrough might also be ready this week to return from a hamstring injury, although he pulled himself part way through yesterday's practice. The team's improved health will force head coach Tom Higgins and his staff to make some tough calls on who starts. Imports Ben Kelly and Shane Walton started at the HB spots Friday in Edmonton while Kelly can also play CB.
"It's a great decision to have and somebody's going to be upset because they'd like to be playing," Higgins said. "Everyone is playing well in the secondary. If it comes down to it, we could always flip a coin."
FIELD GOALS: Non-import C Jamie Crysdale (knee) watched but is expected back on the practice field today ... Non-import RB Scott Deibert (knee), out two weeks, returned to practice but is unlikely to return this week ... Import DL Demetrious Maxie (leg) expects to return Oct. 1 vs. Montreal ... Import DB Jermaine Chatman (jaw) is working out but has not been cleared by doctors.