Tyler Lynem will be giving a thumbs up for six to eight weeks but he's not happy about it.
The fourth-year Calgary Stampeders offensive lineman tore a ligament in his left thumb and will need surgery Saturday to repair the damage. The 6-ft. 6-in. tackle is already in a cast.
"First day of camp ... this is tough," Lynem said about the injury that happened Sunday. "I worked so hard in the off-season to get to this point and to have this happen is a huge setback. There's not much I can do about it now except for mental reps and learning the playbook."
The easy-going Lynem was diagnosed yesterday morning but came back out to late practice in full gear and watched. He hurt the thumb against a defensive lineman but barely remembers the play.
"I just thought I jammed my thumb," Lynem said. "I got in today and asked (trainer) Pat Clayton to take a look at it. It felt a little loose.
"The worst part of it was I finished practice with it and left it overnight. It happened so fast on a one-on-one.
"It's pretty tough to play offensive line without a thumb. The main thing we have going for us is grabbing ... well, holding."
Lynem was competing for a backup spot behind starting right tackle Jeff Pilon.
NEW LOOK FOR NASTY
A somewhat familiar face showed up on the McMahon Stadium sideline yesterday. Recently retired nose tackle Sheldon Napastuk came by to prepare for his radio show with d-lineman Randy Chevrier but was clean shaven and dressed in a suit.
Napastuk was mocked by former teammates for his 'nice' look but he said he wasn't missing training camp at all, especially the two gruelling practices a day.
DICKENSON DEAL DONE
A new contract under his belt, B.C. Lions QB Dave Dickenson prefers not think too far into the future. But Dickenson admits this deal, which extends to 2009, could be his last in the CFL.
"It could be very easily," Dickenson said yesterday.
Dickenson was entering the final year of a contract that paid him $400,000. That last year was torn up and the new deal begins this season.
The 34-year-old will receive the same base salary but some performance incentives have been added. The total could be worth about $1.4 million over the three years.