Gass's career not gassed

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:36 AM ET

A.J. Gass's career will see another chapter.

After fearing he might have lost the heart and soul of his defence forever, Danny Maciocia is breathing easier.

While Gass will be on the shelf for a few weeks with a torn meniscus in a knee suffered in practice on Monday, the middle linebacker will play again this summer.

"The news is very encouraging," said Maciocia late yesterday afternoon.

"I thought that what he suffered could have been career ending because we were talking about an injury that could have sidelined him for an extended period of time.

"It is just a meniscus (cartilage) tear. (Team doctors) are going to go in and take care of it. We are looking at anywhere between four to six weeks."

Gass was unavailable for comment yesterday.

But his relief is likely only matched by Maciocia's.

"I had a very difficult day (Monday) and I am having a much better one today," said the coach.

"Watching him I had one of these sick feelings in my stomach and I had a tough time digesting, seeing how he was limping out there and at the end.

"He didn't want to get on the cart and we encouraged him to do so.

"That is A.J.'s pride that clearly kicks in."

The injury to the 31-year-old was nothing short of a freak accident.

"We were working on pass protection. Matty Bertrand and A.J. they were just engaged - no one went down. (But) his knee almost folded in two," remarked Maciocia.

The injury means the Esks will almost surely start the year with a raw linebacker corp that includes Antico Dalton in the middle with Siddeeq Shabazz and Ray Perryman on either side.

Whether the Esks take a long hard look at upcoming CFL cuts, will likely depend on whether Gass - a 10-year veteran - is placed on the nine-game injured list.

"What I am trying to get a feel for (right now) - is it closer to four or closer to six?" Maciocia explained.

"If it is closer to four - and knowing A.J. as well as I do, it could be three (weeks he is out)."


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