Comeback bid ends -- for now

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:38 AM ET

The Anthony Gargiulo comeback story has been put on hold, at least for the next few months.

The import defensive lineman was released officially by the Calgary Stampeders yesterday in a move to trim the roster in order to stay under the salary cap.

Gargiulo, who broke his leg and ankle in the season finale last year against the B.C. Lions, wasn't able to compete at a high enough level since rejoining the team more two weeks ago.

"Basically, he would come out and practise hard and his foot would swell up," said Stamps head coach John Hufnagel.

"Then he would have to go lighter the next day. At this time, he's not ready to compete day in and day out.

Hufnagel didn't rule out the possibility of Gargiulo someday getting back in action.

"There's always a chance," Hufnagel said. "I think he wants to play, so he will continue to work on it."

The problem is the Stamps had a lot of bodies ready to come off the injured list and others getting shuffled out of the lineup, so they needed space.

Also getting cut yesterday were defensive back Willie Byrd, defensive lineman Marcus Parker and receivers Greg Hetherington and Chris Jackson. Parker was then put on the practice roster and import offensive lineman Jabari Levey was added.

Levey will be needed for depth because left tackle Antonio Hall is out up to three weeks with an ankle injury.

"We have a lot of injuries that created a situation where we needed to make some moves," Hufnagel said. "That makes us salary-cap conscious."

Jackson played in three games and made four catches for 42 yards and one touchdown. He will be replaced on the roster by running back Demetris Summers, who is back practising after recovering from an ankle injury.

Meanwhile, import defensive back Julian Battle is back in action and taking important reps as the Stamps get prepared to face the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday (6 p.m., McMahon Stadium).

Battle has missed the first five games with a heel injury and was placed on the nine-game injured list, but he can be activated through a new rule this season.

He would take the short-side halfback spot if he returns and Brandon Smith would slide over to replace Calvin Bannister (ankle), who has missed practice this week.


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