Lingering leg issue for birthday boy Rambo

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:25 AM ET

CALGARY - Never argue with the birthday boy.

Calgary Stampeders receiver Ken-Yon Rambo, who should’ve had 33 candles on Tuesday’s cake, jokingly insisted he was turning 23.

“I’m going backwards, man. I’m going in reverse,” Rambo said with a grin.

“I’m like Benjamin Button.”

In The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Brad Pitt’s character is born with the physical attributes of an elderly man and ages in reverse.

In Rambo’s case, back-tracking isn’t necessarily a positive.

The Stamps’ star slotback missed Tuesday’s rainy practice session at McMahon Stadium, then admitted afterward he’s still battling the same lingering leg issue that’s been bothering him all season.

Rambo re-aggravated the injury while warming up for Saturday’s 40-3 shellacking of the arch-rival Saskatchewan Roughriders, although he toughed it out for the West Division showdown.

“It’s the same little thing,” Rambo sighed.

“It was bothering me the whole game last game. It’s a tricky thing. I’ve got my good days, I’ve got my bad days. This season has been up and down for me. It’s been like a rollercoaster, and I don’t like rollercoasters during the season.

“It’s been a rollercoaster every week. It’s been a weekly thing, it seems like.”

Several hurtin’ Stamps — centre Jon Gott (knee), linebacker Karl McCartney (hamstring) and defensive end Robert McCune (knee) — were running at full speed for Tuesday’s practice, but Rambo’s health remains a definite concern as the squad prepares for Saturday’s road date with the Lions.

Rambo has already missed two games due to injury, including the Stampeders’ first trip to B.C.

After tweaking his injury in warmups, he was limited to 31 yards on four catches against the Riders.

“He didn’t have the explosion — he was kind of playing on one leg — but he did a nice job of finishing the game,” said Stamps head coach John Hufnagel.

“We’ll give him two days off here and hopefully things will get well enough that he can suit up.”

When he’s healthy, Rambo ranks among the most dangerous pass-catchers in the three-down football ranks.

He won the CFL’s receiving title with a 1,473-yard campaign in 2008 before blowing out his knee the next season.

The former Ohio State Buckeyes standout returned to top form in 2010, racking up 1,172 yards and eight touchdowns.

So far this season, he has 617 yards and four majors in 11 outings.

If he gets his way, all indications are Rambo will be adding to those totals in Saturday’s first-place fight with the Lions.

He insisted after Tuesday’s treatment session the injury is “getting better daily” and seems willing to play through the pain again this week.

“I’ve been playing football for years. You get little injuries and you learn to play through them,” he said. “Being 33 years old and playing football all my life, I’ve learned to play through injuries, and I worry about them after.

“I get paid to play football. I get paid to go out there and perform to the best of my ability and worry about things after. That’s where we’re at today — worrying about it after.”


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