Esks not counting on injury returns


, Last Updated: 2:24 AM ET

EDMONTON - Sooner or later, the Edmonton Eskimos have to catch a break on the injury front.

While top receivers Fred Stamps (abdomen) and Jason Barnes (ribs) arenít likely to return in time for the Labour Day Classic, a couple of others are further along on the mend and could be getting their hands on some footballs later this week.

Slotback Adarius Bowman (ribs) and wide receiver Marcus Henry (concussion) had some extra recuperation time over the bye week and will go for a test drive when the team resumes its practice schedule on Thursday.

Officially, at least, the Eskimos arenít getting their hopes up on seeing anyone return to practice.

ďThat I know of, I know weíre going to have the guys that we had last week available to us,Ē said head coach Kavis Reed. ďAll of the other guys are injured and will probably remain on the injured (list) for right now.Ē

But with their next game scheduled on Monday, the actual work week doesnít kick off until Thursday, leaving some extra time for players to come off the one-game injured list. While four of the five nine-gamed players could return as soon as the the following weekís Labour Day rematch.

ďIím going to take it day-by-day, but as of right now I feel great. Iím practising. Iím ready,Ē said Bowman, who suffered cracked ribs against Calgary in a Week 4 win. ďIt (Labour Day hype) couldnít get better. I left on Calgary, so Iím glad Iím coming back.

ďThatís just the way things work.Ē

But itís been tough for Bowman to watch, not only seeing a trio of other starting receivers get sidelined by injury but also helplessly witnessing their unbeaten streak turn into a three-game slide.

ďThatís a part of the game that I just really donít enjoy when youíre on that side of it,Ē he said. ďAlmost like a fan because you canít really reach out there and help your guys, even though youíre out there at armís reach.Ē