Cornish always a game bird

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:59 AM ET

Jon Cornish is ready to return to the huddle.

Maybe sleep in a little bit, too.

For the past four weeks, the Calgary Stampeders' backup running back has been arriving at McMahon Stadium in the wee hours of the morning for treatment on his injured right knee.

"I sort of like the idea that I was always the first player here in the morning and sometimes the last player to leave," said Cornish, who has been sidelined since hyper-extending his knee in a June 17 pre-season outing.

"I was working. You have to do the things necessary to achieve the goals you want to achieve. That's all I'm doing right now."

There could be minor changes coming in the Stampeders' backfield as Cornish prepares to return from the injured list. The 24-year-old from New Westminster, B.C., was buzzing around the practice field yesterday and declared afterwards he'll be ready to roll if he gets the call to suit up against the B.C. Lions.

Stampeders boss John Hufnagel is taking a wait-and-see approach on Cornish's status for Friday's game, but the third-year CFLer has already cleared any doubt in his own mind he's up to the challenge.

"I was feeling on the inside like I'd be able to run around and do whatever I wanted to do, but I didn't know because I hadn't done it yet," Cornish said. "(Athletic therapist) Pat Clayton says that's one of the biggest things about coming back is overcoming the idea you might not be able to do it. He won't let you do it unless he thinks you can do it. And I went out there and did it."

Slotback Nik Lewis (hip) was among the spectators at yesterday's practice. Running back Derek Watson (ankle) and defensive lineman Alain Kashama (ankle) skipped the session, while long-snapper Randy Chevrier (knee) is also on the limp.


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