Even though he is somewhat embarrassed to talk about it, Mike Mihelic is fortunate an infection on his backside didn't turn into anything more than a pain on the butt.
The burly offensive lineman received medical clearance to practise this week -- although his playing status is uncertain for Monday's game against the Edmonton Eskimos at the Rogers Centre -- following an abscess that burst on his backside.
The problem flared up on the team's flight home from Regina the day after playing against the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sept. 23. Mihelic barely could even sit on the flight, and when his wife picked him up to drive home, he couldn't even move.
He had to spend a day in the hospital, and underwent a scan because the infection had spread.
"It's embarrassing, but it was dangerous," he said yesterday. "If it goes into your spine or your vertebrae, I'd have to retire. It could be something that gets into your joints and I'd be finished playing football. It's like a systemic infection."
He missed the Argos' last game, only five days after the game in Regina. The team described his absence as an infection but did not elaborate on the specifics. He spent much of last week attached to a portable intravenous bag, which helped to clear up the condition.
Clemons sums up trade
Argos head coach Pinball Clemons had some interesting thoughts on the multiple-player trade between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Eskimos this week. Two of the players the Eskimos picked up, tailback Troy Davis and offensive lineman Dan Comiskey, are expected to be in the Eskimos' lineup when they play the Argos.
Clemons suggested the Eskimos have not been totally comfortable with the various running backs who have been brought in this year. Davis is scheduled to become a free agent in February and had been unhappy with the contract renewal offered by Hamilton.
"In Troy Davis (the Eskimos) have a guy they feel they can build around," Clemons said. "They want to run the football more. He's a guy that makes tough yards. You don't have to work a whole lot at it and have the best scheme for him to be effective.
"He's a guy that makes things happen in the run game. He also has got a good understanding of protection. He's very physical, as physical a running back as there is. He will give them a boost in that area.
"I didn't get caught up in the whole dynamics of everything that changed place there because we always try to focus on ourself and try to worry more about our own execution than changes that they're going to make.
"Looking at it from the outside, it seems like it's a a trade that benefitted both teams."
Hamilton received Canadian receiver Brock Ralph, import defensive back Tay Cody and a first-round pick next year.