'Afterburner' turns it back on

Receiver Steven Turner runs a route during the Toronto Argonauts free-agent football camp in...

Receiver Steven Turner runs a route during the Toronto Argonauts free-agent football camp in Paisley, Fla., Wednesday, April 27, 2011. (PHELAN M. EBENHACK/QMI AGENCY)

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:29 AM ET

PAISLEY, Fla. — Steven Turner knows he shouldn’t be here, but at the same time, there is no other place he would rather be. The Brampton native ruptured his left Achilles tendon in training camp last year after the Argonauts drafted him in the fourth round of the Canadian draft. The Argos, not unlike the other seven teams in the CFL, were blown away by his record-shattering speed at the combine. But after more than 10 months of recovery, Turner started to demonstrate on Wednesday that there are no lingering effects from the injury. Had the kick returner/wide receiver not been hurt, he stood a great chance of making the 2010 Argos. And had that happened, he wouldn’t be at the camp this week. “I’m out here just trying to build my confidence back up to go into training camp,” Turner, who finished a sociology degree at Bishop’s as he recovered, said after the morning session. “I feel like I am the same person I was before the injury. If it affects my speed, that’s for other people to judge.” Nicknamed “The Afterburner” when he ran a 4.3-second 40-yard sprint at the evaluation camp, Turner often was challenged to avoid a slow burn during his rehabilitation, which included five months in a walking boot. “Being on crutches and going to games, it was really emotional, and it makes me emotional now just thinking about it,” he said. “I was crushed, all that hard work I had put in, it was gone.” Turner won’t return much if Chad Owens is healthy, but he could get at a job in the receiving corps. Argos coach and GM Jim Barker likes the progress Turner has made. “He busted his rear to get back,” Barker said. “His injury is the toughest he could have had as a quickness guy. You would never look at him and say, ‘Wow, that guy had a ruptured Achilles.’ That’s all you can ask for. “It’s going to be interesting to see how he comes back (on Thursday).”

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