Esks' Stamps undergoes surgery

Gerry Moddejonge, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:12 PM ET

Talk about a kick in the pants.

The Edmonton Eskimos will be without league-leading receiver Fred Stamps anywhere from four to six weeks after the slotback underwent emergency abdominal surgery at a Winnipeg hospital following Friday’s game.

“First and foremost, thoughts to Fred and how he’s doing,” Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed said from the team’s hotel Saturday evening. “They went in (Friday) night and got things cleaned up.”

Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive back Jonathan Hefney told reporters he accidentally kicked Stamps in a vitally sensitive area on the first play of the game.

“What a euphemistic way of putting it,” Reed said. “I don’t know for sure what happened, we don’t have that video to confirm or dispute that. Obviously, if it did happen, it was an accident and it’s a part of sports.”

Regardless, the abdominal injury is similar to but medically unrelated to the emergency appendectomy Stamps underwent four years ago during his rookie CFL season.

“I think he got hit there and was having some discomfort in the abdomen after the game,” said Reed. “During the game, he was having some discomfort, but we thought it was just discomfort. After the game, we decided for precautionary reasons to take him to the hospital and fortunately we did.”

Stamps played right up to the end of Friday’s game, making three catches for 41 yards in a 28-16 loss.

“I spoke to him (Saturday) morning and he was in good spirits,” Reed said. “Fred is Fred. The amazing thing is the young man played through the stomach pain.

“He was truly heroic in the way that he played and didn’t complain.”

Stamps leads the league with 619 receiving yards on 33 catches, 83 more yards than B.C. Lions receiver Geroy Simon six weeks into the season.

“It’s very unfortunate for Fred,” Reed said. “I’m concerned about his mental state and obviously his physical well-being. For the team, I know that it’s going to be a tremendous loss for us for the time that he’s out.”

While the Eskimos remain optimistic Stamps’s injury will keep him out for the lower end of doctors’ estimates, he will be reassessed upon returning to Edmonton.

“It’s too early to tell,” Reed said. “We have guys on the roster that we obviously will bring in and have a look at them, see if they will fit for what we want to do this game (against Montreal).

“We pretty much have in-house what we need.”

Stamps joins the ranks of some key veterans already sidelined by injuries, including defensive end Greg Peach (knee), slotback Adarius Bowman (cracked ribs), wide receiver Andrew Nowacki (hamstring) and linebacker Rod Davis (hamstring).

“This is a part of sports and as a football team, this is an opportunity for other guys that we have on the roster to test and see where they are,” Reed said. “For us, we’re looking forward to getting those guys healthy.

“Fortunately, we’ve had a tremendous start. Those guys have really worked hard to overcome adversity. We’ve lost some key players, but that’s no reason for us to fold the tent and abandon the season.”


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