I'll be back

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:40 AM ET

As a quarterback, Henry Burris is accustomed to taking charge with both hands on the steering wheel, so to speak.

So it's no surprise the Stampeders pivot is feeling rather helpless after being told Tuesday his left thumb needed immediate surgery to repair a torn ligament.

He even arrived at yesterday's McMahon Stadium press conference chauffeured by wife Nicole, the QB shunted to the backup role in the passenger seat, too numbed by painkillers to even navigate his own vehicle.

Despite the massive bandage engulfing his non-throwing mitt, Burris stood before a throng of notebooks, TV types and photographers, vowing he'll return to pilot the Stampeders offence before the end of the CFL campaign.

"I'll be back for the end of the season ... It will be several weeks," said Burris, still unable to establish a time frame for his recovery.

"We'll see just what that means. I'm hoping I'll be back by Saturday but we all know that's not realistic ... whenever that time frame comes and they say, 'Go at it,' I'll be out there."

Burris said he could have and was willing to play with the injury but doctors insisted the torn ligament could have deteriorated if not given immediate attention, shortening or possibly ending his career.

"Personally, I was just telling them, 'Let me go play, I'll wait until the end of the season to get it done,' " said Burris, injured in Friday night's 16-11 win in Edmonton.

"But the ramifications as far as doing something like that, the severity of what could occur inside the joint, (made surgery) inevitable and something that had to be done."

Burris said he'll eventually return to practice and the starting lineup wearing a cast prepared by head therapist Pat Clayton.

"Patty has some tricks up his sleeve for the way he can prepare it and immobilize the thumb to make sure, if any contact is made, the only thing I could come out of it with is soreness," Burris said.

He expects to be on the sidelines Saturday in Hamilton to help newly appointed No. 1 passer Jason Gesser adapt to the transition in his first CFL start.

For now, Burris is popping a steady stream of painkillers to ease the discomfort in his hand, every bit as sore as the torn ACL he suffered in 1999 during his first stint in Calgary.

"Hopefully, my wife doesn't get jealous," Burris quipped.

"I'm spending more time with them than her right now."

President Ted Hellard said the team considers the injury "100 percent repaired" and said the team has been told the injury is "not season-ending" although only time will tell when the high-priced free agent acquisition will return.


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