Thelwell all well in belief about comeback

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:53 AM ET

Don't throw Ryan Thelwell a retirement bash just yet.

Come next summer, the Stampeders receiver hopes somebody is throwing him footballs again.

Just two days removed from surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon, a career-threatening injury for an athlete of any age, Thelwell refused to rule out a return to the huddle next season.

"I've been hearing a lot that with my age and the type of injury I have, it's going to be tough -- and I know that," Thelwell said yesterday. "I'm 36 and to have an injury like this, I know it's going to be tough, but it's been done. It's not like it's never happened before, right?

"I talked to (head coach John Hufnagel) and he's going to let me go through the process and see how it feels and make a decision from there. I'm not counting anything out. I know the boys here are still pulling for me and still feel like I've got one more year.

"I'm just going to take it day-by-day. I know it's cliche, but that's all I can really do -- just take it day-by-day and see how it feels next year."

Thelwell ruptured his Achilles tendon on an innocent-looking sequence during Friday's loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The London, Ont., native was taken for an MRI immediately after the flight home and went under the knife the following day to repair the damage.

With Thelwell and reigning CFL receiving champ Ken-Yon Rambo (knee) both sidelined for the rest of the season, the Stampeders acquired pass-catchers Romby Bryant and Arjei Franklin in a weekend swap with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and signed Hamilton Tiger-Cats castoff Chris Davis to their practice squad.

Thelwell and Rambo both watched yesterday's practice at McMahon Stadium, offering occasional tidbits to help the newbies adjust to the Stamps system.

"I'm just out here to support the guys," Thelwell said. "Roles change.

"When Ken-Yon went down, my role changed," Thelwell continued. "I was actually in there playing. And Cope's role changed, because he became the go-to guy. Now that I'm hurt, my role has changed. I'm going to be out here supporting the guys as much as I can. I'm on crutches, so there's not much I can really do, but it beats sitting at home.

"I'm not feeling any pain, so I figured, 'Why not come say hi to the boys, just let them know I'm alive and I'm still kicking?' "

In nine tilts before his injury this season, Thelwell hauled in 31 passes for 492 yards and one touchdown.


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