Labinjo unsure what future holds

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:05 PM ET

Mike Labinjo can’t predict his long-term future with the Calgary Stampeders, but his short-term job will be tough to stomach.

For the next month and a half, the Canadian defensive end is relegated to the job of cheerleader.

Labinjo, who suffered a torn triceps tendon a week ago in Montreal, will have surgery early next week.

He is done for the season and heading into 2011 with an option-year on his contract coming off two years in which he won’t dress in the playoffs.

“I don’t know,” Labinjo said, when asked if he will ever play for the Stamps again.

“All I can do is get the surgery, and hopefully, everything works out all right. I just have to play it by ear.

“I know my option year is coming up, but I’m not thinking about that right now. I’m just worrying about getting better.”

Labinjo was at practice Wednesday for the first time since being diagnosed last week. He’s disappointed to be a spectator, but is trying to be a team player by offering his support for anything the Stamps need him to do.

“Everyone wants to play in the playoffs,” Labinjo said. “The way our team is looking right now, we have a good chance of going to the Cup.

“I told the coaches and the guys if they need me for anything, let me know. If they need me to talk to some of the younger guys, I’m always there. I will be bouncing around the building and helping in any way that I can.”

When the Stamps came home from Montreal, head coach John Hufnagel didn’t initially know about Labinjo’s injury. He didn’t come to McMahon Stadium for treatment Tuesday, but then couldn’t practice Wednesday and Hufnagel seemed upset about the situation.

“When we came home Monday, my adrenaline was pumping and I could still move my arm,” Labinjo said. “The next day, it was sore, so I just iced it. The following day I couldn’t bend my arm. I came in and saw Pat and he sent me for an MRI.”


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