Can Hervey bounce back?

Ed Hervey is not recovering from his knee injury as quickly as he would like. (Sun Media File Photo)

Ed Hervey is not recovering from his knee injury as quickly as he would like. (Sun Media File Photo)

GERRY PRINCE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:09 AM ET

Slap a pair of aviator sunglasses on him, put a good-sized assault rifle in his hand and Ed Hervey would have looked and sounded incredibly like The Terminator yesterday. Despite sitting out four of the team's last six games because of a knee injury, the Esks wideout is determined to hit the field for one or more of the team's five remaining regular-season games.

He'll be back. You can count on that.

"I'm optimistic I will play," offered Hervey, who was injured when hit from behind during the Esks' loss to Toronto back on Aug. 8.

"It's an injury that takes time. And time is what we're going to give it. But I will be playing before this year is out, I guarantee you that.

The wideout with world-class speed huddled with Dr. David Reid Tuesday and is scheduled to consult Reid again tomorrow.

"It was not as good a news as Ed would have liked," said Esks head coach Tom Higgins of Tuesday's examination.

"He'd like to have gotten full clearance and told to go ahead and start running and playing football. It's one of those things that we just have to be as patient as we can."

DAMAGED MENISCUS

Although the six-year CFL veteran declined to discuss the specifics of the injury to his right knee, Higgins suggested the day after Hervey took the hit that it was likely a damaged meniscus.

The 31-year-old receiver was shipped home following the Toronto tilt and has only seen action against Saskatchewan and Ottawa since sustaining the injury.

While the knee is prone to swelling, that's not what hurts Hervey the most.

"It hurts to watch," admitted the two-time Western Division all-star. "I think that bothers me a lot more. When you ask me about it, it kind of irritates me.

"The way I feel mentally, I can go out there. Everything else feels like I can go. When I start to run, I realize I'm not close to 100 per cent.

"To not be able to go out there and not be able to help our team, it gets frustrating. Again, this is not an injury where you can just wrap it up, shoot it up or do anything like that."

Nor, apparently, can the Esks medical staff hasten the healing process by performing arthroscopic surgery.

Hervey is adamant the short-term pain of such a procedure would not translate into any form of long-term gain.

"There won't be any surgery because this doesn't require surgery," said Hervey, who has 37 receptions for 406 yards and four touchdowns in nine starts. "I've had the best doctor, in Dr. Reid, and we went through all the possible scenarios.

"I'm taking his advice. His advice with this particular injury, surgery is not the best answer. It's a time healing deal and that's what we're going to do."

Hervey added there's been no suggestion from the Esks brass that surgery might be a better option.

"There's no need to go in there and this is coming from the doctors and professionals that do this," he said. "I don't know what's going on. I go by what the doctor says."

The best-case scenario according to Higgins is getting Hervey back in time for the Hall of Fame game in Hamilton on Oct. 1.

SEE YOU IN OCTOBER

Esks receiver coach Dan McKinnon figures Hervey's out of the lineup until after the Hall of Fame tilt.

"The Ed Hervey situation is one we're not too sure about right now," McKinnon said. "It's one of those grey areas where you hope the swelling goes down and you can go forward from there.

"Time could be a factor but it could be an advantage for him. We may have him for the last few games of the season. We won't know for another two weeks at least where that stands."

With the Esks headed down the stretch and looking to climb in the Western Division standings, Hervey would prefer to be back in the lineup for the squad's Thanksgiving Day showdown with the Montreal Alouettes.

The fact that tilt is a rematch of last November's Grey Cup as well as an opportunity for the Esks to avenge their season-opening loss in Montreal isn't what's motivating Hervey.

"You want to make sure that you come back with a few games left in the season to make sure you get your playing shape and your timing back and you get your feel for the offence back," he explained.

"That's a logical thing to do. I'll be back with one or two or possibly three games to play. It's just a matter of the knee healing to where I'm comfortable on it and to where it's not going to give me any problems when I'm out there."


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