Alouettes defender had long road back

Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Ricky Ray avoids the tackle of Montreal Alouettes defender Moton...

Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Ricky Ray avoids the tackle of Montreal Alouettes defender Moton Hopkins (95) during CFL football action in Montreal, August 11, 2011. (REUTERS/Olivier Jean)

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:19 PM ET

If the CFL had a comeback player of the year award, Moton Hopkins would definitely be in the running.

He hasn't played yet for the Montreal Alouettes this season, but right now it's one of those "just happy to be here" kind of situations for the 26-year-old defensive tackle.

Hopkins was working out in San Antonio, Texas, in mid-May 2012, just two weeks before leaving for training camp, when he felt a pain in his side following a workout.

"I thought I pulled a rib, because we did abs heavy that day," Hopkins said. "It ended up getting worse, to the point where I couldn't breathe. My mom made me go to the ER, thankfully."

It was there, on May 15, 2012, that the diagnosis was made: He had a blood clot in his lung. There would be no football in his immediate future.

"I had to stop playing for a while," he said. "I had to get on blood thinners right away."


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