Wynning feeling not good

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:54 AM ET

The last time Ryan Thelwell hobbled out of Ivor Wynne Stadium, it looked like his career was over.

On Sept. 17, 2009, the Calgary Stampeders receiver’s season came to an end with the agony of a torn Achilles tendon.

In the moments after the injury, which came during a tough 24-17 road loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Thelwell’s injury looked bad enough to say his career was in jeopardy.

Thelwell wouldn’t let that happen. His long off-season of rehab and recovery was one of the best stories of training camp.

So what better way to start fresh on a new season than go back to Hamilton, suit up in the same locker-room stall and run over the spot where it happened?

“To have the injury there last year, it will be a tough place to play,” said Thelwell, who grew up down the road in London, Ont.

“It’s still playing back at home for me, and I would like to return to the scene of the crime.

“I always enjoy playing there because I’m from there and my family enjoys watching me play … It seems like things don’t go right when we play there, whether it’s injuries or just losses.”

Although the 37-year-old Stampeders receiver missed the season-opener with a sprained ankle on the same foot, coming back in Week 2 seems like a good omen.

After participating in a walk-through Monday at McMahon Stadium, Thelwell is just waiting for the clearance for full practice, which would start Tuesday.

If all goes as planned, he will suit up Saturday against the Ticats.

The ankle sprain happened in the final pre-season outing against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Thelwell caught a pass from Henry Burris and was tackled from behind. At the time, he feared the worst, but Stamps trainer Pat Clayton has assured the 10-year veteran the injuries aren’t related.

Clayton put Thelwell through a treadmill workout Monday and let the receiver jog through plays with teammates. It went well, and he feels good.

“I’m not sure what Pat tells Huf,” Thelwell said about head coach John Hufnagel. “The big man makes all the decisions.

“I will just do what he says. It’s still a little swollen and we’re working on getting that down. Other than that, it feels good to be out there.”

If Thelwell doesn’t get activated this week, there’s a chance he would be out for Week 3, as well. The Stamps will stay in Ontario to practice for a game the following Wednesday at Toronto.

When asked about the status of Thelwell and fellow injured receiver P.K. Sam, Hufnagel was more positive about Sam’s possible return from a hamstring injury.

“I’m optimistic Ryan may return in the near future,”

Hufnagel said.

Hamilton hasn’t been kind to the Stampeders in the past.

In 2007, Henry Burris’ season was derailed when he suffered a dislocated shoulder, and the Stamps have only one win in their last four visits to the Hammer.

Maybe Thelwell’s return can give the team a boost this time.

“We haven’t had success at Ivor Wynne,” Burris said. “It’s time to exorcise the demons and do what we can to make sure we get a victory this year.”

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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