Stamps have to contend with return of kicker

IAN BUSBY, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 10:51 AM ET

MISSISSAUGA, ONT. -- The distinctive whapping sound emanating from Toronto Argonauts practice could only mean one thing.

Kicker Noel Prefontaine returned to action after missing a week with a concussion -- the first game he's missed since 2003.

But he will be in the lineup tomorrow when the Argos host the Calgary Stampeders at Rogers Centre (5 p.m., TSN).

"I think he took ginseng before he came out and kicked because he had a real live leg," said Argos head coach Michael (Pinball) Clemons.

"It's great to see him back in uniform. He's excited and he has that smirk on his face.

"He's a special, special player and you could argue he's our MVP every year. He's obviously a big part of what we do."

Prefontaine sustained a concussion in the season opener when B.C. Lions safety Barron Miles came through the middle and blocked a punt.

Miles hit the ball as it was on Prefontaine's foot and the force of the impact spun the kicker into a front flip and he landed awkwardly on his head.

The time off meant he couldn't do any football activities but that did nothing to sap his leg strength.

Although he's a kicker, Prefontaine likes to jump in and hit the way other players do, which he will have to tone down against the Stamps.

"It rules out how I normally play the game and how I play," Prefontaine said.

"You try to be physical but I'll be picking my spots in terms of colliding with anybody. When you get out there, you find yourself doing what you normally would have done. The last thing I want to do is step out there thinking that I'm going to get hurt again."

While Prefontaine was out, the Argos brought long-time NFLer Steve Christie out of retirement to handle placekicking against the Tiger-Cats. Safety Chris Hardy took care of the punting duties.

Christie was 2-for-4 but there was also a bobbled snap on another attempt.

Clemons said Christie did an admirable job having not kicked in a game since 2004 and didn't rule out calling him again if needed.

EXTRA POINTS

The Argos continue to hand the ball off to their healthiest running back and this week it's Jamel White, who replaces John Avery (hip) ... The Double Blue will also activate Derrell (Mookie) Mitchell, who they signed last week, and he will replace receiver Patrick Johnson (ankle).


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