Argos on the mend

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

Argos head coach Mike (Pinball) Clemons has been singing the (double) blues all season when it comes to injuries.

But finally, after a week-long break for his 7-5 club, Clemons can see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Linebacker Kevin Eiben is expected back this Saturday against the Stampeders in Calgary, after missing the previous game with a tear in his left shoulder -- the first game he had missed since 2001.

Wide receiver Andre Talbot is back practising, after being sidelined because of an abdomen injury, as is backup quarterback Eric Crouch. Even better, it looks as though heralded running back Ricky Williams will play against the Stampeders.

Williams, the former Miami Dolphins star, broke his arm in Regina on July 22, and though he tore up his heel this week in a fluke accident at the team's practice facility, he is expected to make the trip.

Fans of the team have been salivating at the prospect of having both Williams and John Avery, who was impressive in replacement of Williams, in the backfield at the same time.

But it's almost certain that won't happen this weekend as an ankle injury Avery suffered on Aug. 25 against Winnipeg is not fully healed.

So, the intriguing question of what to do with two outstanding backs playing together, is a problem Clemons won't have to worry about until Calgary visits Toronto on Sept. 30.

"I think in a couple of weeks we'll have the chance to see both of them back in the lineup," Clemons said yesterday. "This week, we probably have the best chance of dressing Ricky."

The bottom line is, Clemons does not want to risk both at the same time if they're both not 100%.

With Avery likely out this weekend, Canadian running back Jeff Johnson will continue to get the ball with some frequency. Johnson has played well with the absence of Williams and Avery.

"Last week, I was a basket case, I was stressed out," said Johnson, who got married last weekend. "Thank goodness we were off."

For obvious reasons, the honeymoon was delayed.

"We'll finish the season, win the Grey Cup and then go on our honeymoon," Johnson said, adding that the honeymoon will go ahead even if they don't win the Grey Cup.

"Either way it will happen. It's just whether we drink water of champagne," he said, with a laugh.

Meanwhile, Clemons expects defensive tackle Noah Cantor, who is Jewish, to be in the lineup against Calgary on Saturday, even though the game falls on Rosh Hashanah, although the coach will leave that up to him. Cantor retired this season but returned on a part-time basis when the club ran into injury problems. For most of the week, Cantor attends his restaurants in Vancouver and then joins the Argos for games.


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