Bishop wants the ball

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:17 AM ET

If airport security decides to rummage through Michael Bishop's suitcase later this week, they might find a nice double blue jersey folded neatly at the bottom.

"I'm going to sneak my uniform with me," said the healing Toronto Argonauts quarterback, who figured he might need it when his team travels to Winnipeg to lock horns against the high-flying Blue Bombers on Friday.

Bishop is champing at the bit to return to action and actually hopes to dress against the East Division-leading Bombers, even if he doesn't play.

But it didn't take long for head coach Mike (Pinball) Clemons to practically nip Bishop's plans in the bud.

Informed of Bishop's desire to suit up against the Bombers, Clemons was coy with the media yesterday.

"There is a very good chance of him dressing ... for the Labour Day game (versus Hamilton)," Clemons said. "(But) there is very little chance he'll dress this week."

The Argos (2-5) have lost four consecutive games since Bishop suffered a fracture in his right wrist during a 48-15 drubbing of the Calgary Stampeders on July 12 at the Rogers Centre.

The most recent starter on the Argos quarterback carousel, Rocky Butler, did provide Toronto brass with some optimism in the team's previous outing, a 24-13 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Butler completed 23-of-31 passes for 302 yards against his former team and will get the call again to start in Winnipeg.

With receiver Tony Miles expected to be back in the lineup after missing four games with a hamstring injury, Butler could have yet another offensive cog at his disposal to throw to.

But he also realizes that Bishop is nearing a return and will fill the role as the No. 1 pivot when that time comes.

"He's ready to get back in there," Butler said of Bishop. "In the meantime, he's been a lot of help to me, offering advice whenever he can. And any help is appreciated.

"The key against Winnipeg is controlling their defensive line and neutralizing their pass rush. As an offence, our skill positions are starting to gel and we are beginning to develop some continuity."

Bishop has been throwing for several days and claimed there is no pain in his wrist, which contains a surgically inserted plate with screws to aid the healing process. Gripping the ball and zipping it with velocity, he said, are not problems.

Bishop, an alumnus of Kansas State, met with doctors this week and said he has received two thumbs up.

"It feels like I'ven just come off a vacation and now I'm ready to throw," Bishop said. "I feel at this time I can pretty much do all the things that are asked of me at this point right now.

"Like I said,I actually think I could play this weekend, although the extra week off can't hurt."

Unpack that jersey, Michael. According to your coach, you probably won't need it.


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