Ruiz is enjoying a faster recovery

Barre Campbell -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 6:42 AM ET

Renegades cornerback Donnie Ruiz hopes to make a return to the field sooner than expected. The Hamilton native and four-year CFL veteran said yesterday his rehab on a torn ACL in his left knee is ahead of schedule, and that a prognosis of being out for the rest of the season might change.

"I'm training and preparing myself mentally as if I'm coming back," said Ruiz, who is shooting to return for the end of the regular season or, if his team qualifies, for the first game of the playoffs.

"I ran some sprints (yesterday) and I'm feeling pretty good," he said.

Injuries have ravaged the Renegades of its Canadian talent in the secondary.

Ruiz hurt his knee against Edmonton on July 2. The Renegades have also been without Shawn Gallant for the last five games with a right knee strain.

'NO OPTION'

Cornerback Dave Donaldson missed last week's game against B.C. with a leg injury, but yesterday he said he'll likely return for Friday's game in Calgary.

"No kind of injury is going to stop me from playing in this game," said Donaldson. "At this stage of the season, it's win or go home. To me, personally, there's no option whether or not to play."

BURNS IN, SUTHERLAND OUT: Right tackle Chris Burns rested during yesterday's practice, but said a leg injury will not keep him out of Friday's game. Obby Khan took his place at practice. Right guard Mike Sutherland tested an injured right ankle and said that he would probably not be able to play.

HE'S A JOKER: An Ottawa radio station is offering $25,000 in a contest that supposedly leads contestants to a local celebrity through a series of clues. Many participants have visited Frank Clair Stadium, including one woman who interrupted practice Monday to ask QB Kerry Joseph if he was her ticket to the money. Before yesterday's practice, a group of young women celebrated outside the locker room when defensive tackle Jerome Haywood said he was the guy, only to have their joy dashed when a giggling Haywood confessed he was just kidding.

barre.campbell@ott.sunpub.com


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