Harsh outcome for Ebell

TERRY KOSHAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

Andre Durie knows Tyler Ebell's pain, both in a literal and a figurative sense.

Ebell, acquired by the Argos in the off-season from the Edmonton Eskimos to compete for the No. 1 running back job, is scheduled to have surgery this afternoon on his ruptured left Achilles tendon, an injury he suffered in practice on Wednesday.

Argos coach Rich Stubler said Ebell's recovery probably will take 10 months, meaning he won't be in pads again until 2009. Durie missed the entire 2006 season with a knee injury, so he knows what it's like to endure a long and exhausting rehabilitation.

"Track your progression, because you are always progressing, no matter what," Durie said of the advice he would offer Ebell. "There is never a day in rehab when you regress. There were a lot of times I wanted to pack it in, but I had a supporting cast that told me I was going to get it done."

To help fill the hole left by Ebell, the Argos traded cornerback Leron Mitchell to the Saskatchewan Roughriders and got running back Jamal Robertson in return. Robertson, who is expected to join the Argos for practice today, has experience with the Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers, but did not play in 2007 after being released by the Atlanta Falcons.

Stubler doesn't know much about Robertson, but Argos assistant general manager Greg Mohns does. Mohns scouted Robertson when the latter was with the Panthers, and one of Mohns' many football contacts, Panthers assistant coach Jim Skipper, recommended the Washington, D.C., native.

"He maybe does not have the same speed that he had four or five years ago, but he has explosiveness into the hole," Mohns said. "(But) we're not going to throw him right into frying pan and turn the heat up high."

Listed at 5-foot-10 and 215 pounds, Robertson should provide a better block than Ebell. But the addition of Robertson might not have a huge impact on the Argos' running game, as Stubler is enamoured with Durie and Dominique Dorsey, as well as Jeff Johnson.

"We have three quality kids," Stubler said. "They're all going to carry the ball. I'm really excited to see Andre carry the ball with the lights on, and Dominique, a couple of years ago with Saskatchewan, was hell on wheels."

Once the surgery is done, Ebell will have his cast cut off in two weeks, the stitches will be taken out, and another cast will be put on for six weeks. After that, rehab kicks in and won't be done until next spring.

"It's one of those curves they throw at you and you whiff on it and you have to start again," Stubler said of Ebell's absence. "I was very encouraged with him in camp."

Ebell was at the Argos' morning practice but did not speak to reporters.

The Argos, meanwhile, released wide receiver Cedric Bonner and fullback Ugonna Ihekwoaba.


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