Charb making progress

Charbonneau

Charbonneau

GERRY PRINCE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:10 AM ET

A slight paunch and small scar are the only reminders Edmonton Eskimos defensive tackle Steve Charbonneau has of his recent knee surgery. Charbonneau tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during Edmonton's 25-14 road loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Aug. 12.

The hulking non-import lineman admits to packing on a couple of extra pounds following the Sept. 10 operation to repair his ACL.

"Home cooking," winked the University of New Hampshire as he patted his stomach yesterday.

An eight-year CFL veteran, Charbonneau avoided serious injury until he had to be helped off the field at Canad Inns Stadium.

Charbonneau had the option of playing the remainder of the season with a brace on his injured knee and having surgery at the end of the season.

Given the roughly six-month rehab that follows the procedure, the 31-year-old would not have been ready for training camp. But by opting to have the surgery now, he'll be ready to go when camp opens next spring.

"The operation went well," said Charbonneau, who has already begun his rehab. "The first few days were tough and I was wondering if I'd ever walk again.

"After three days it was a lot better. In the last few days I've made incredible progress. I'm not wearing a brace and I don't have crutches or a cane."

Although Charbonneau is making significant progress, the six-foot-five, 275-pound Quebecker admits he was reluctant to have the surgery.

"The night before the operation, I had no pain in my knee and my strength and flexibility were there," he said.

"I was second-guessing my decision to have the operation. But there was no arguing my ACL was torn and that I needed to have the surgery."

HIGH DAYS AND HOLY DAYS: When the CFL released it schedule, tomorrow's Esks-Argos tilt was originally slated to be played tonight. However, today marks the start of Yom Kippur, the most holy day on the Jewish calendar.

Toronto owners David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski, both of whom are Jewish, persuaded to Green and Gold to move the game by 24 hours.

Yom Kippur runs from sundown tonight to sundown tomorrow. The change will allow Argos defensive tackle Noah Cantor to observe the ritual fast prior to lining up against the Esks.

Cantor has missed only two games during his nine-year CFL career. Both games fell on Yom Kippur.

LATE HITS: Wide receivers Ed Hervey (knee) and Brock Ralph (bruised quad) are scratches again this week ... Rookie offensive lineman Joe McGrath gets the start at left tackle tomorrow. "The coaches have given me the starting job this week. Hopefully, I can maintain it and keep it for the rest of the year," said McGrath, who was plucked of Calgary's practice roster in early July. Glen Carson and Carlo Panaro will play behind McGrath.


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