Rookie feeling the pain

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

OTTAWA -- The first start of Jeff Keeping's pro football career has come at a price.

And it could hurt the Argos in the playoffs.

The backup defensive tackle, the Argos' nominee for top rookie, injured his left knee early in their 27-17 loss to the Renegades yesterday.

"I engaged the centre and their tackle came right into my knee," he said. "I don't think it's an illegal block. Whether it's on purpose or not is a whole other story."

The early diagnosis is damage to his MCL, which usually can be healed with rest and rehabilitation over the course of six weeks. That means he is out of the East Division final in two weeks at the Rogers Centre.

"It's disappointing," Keeping said. "I'm frustrated beyond belief. I wanted to come in (as a starter) and really show what I can do throughout four quarters rather than just coming in in relief."

Chuck Walsh replaced Keeping and will step into his spot as a reserve behind Noah Cantor for the East final. Cantor was rested for yesterday's game.


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