Waiting is hardest part

Bombers' slotback Milt Stegall grabs a pass during practice Tuesday at Canad Inns Stadium. SUN...

Bombers' slotback Milt Stegall grabs a pass during practice Tuesday at Canad Inns Stadium. SUN MEDIA/Brian Donogh

DEREK JORY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:11 AM ET

The waiting game continues for Milt Stegall.

It's a game the 38-year-old has gotten used to since he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on May 2, yet not one he likes.

You can't really blame the 13-year veteran for not taking a liking to sideline pacing, he's the CFL's undisputed touchdown king, a career of playing and playing well is all he knows.

He's been injured before, most recently in 2007 when his knee began bothering him, but he's never been forced to miss a season opener because of it. That came to a screeching halt last Friday night when he didn't suit up in Winnipeg's 23-16 loss to the Toronto Argonauts.

"It sucks, but I can't do anything about it so I don't try to worry myself or stress out about something I can't control," said Stegall after taking part in drills yesterday at practice. "The only thing I can control is just trying to get better and getting myself healthy."

Winnipeg head coach Doug Berry said yesterday that based on what he's seen so far, he's almost ready to pencil Stegall in for action in week three against the BC Lions.

That sounds close enough, but for someone who lives and breathes touchdowns, it's another 10 days before he'll be able to head into battle with his comrades.

Stegall, however, is taking it all in stride, not the letting time missed affect his focus.

"I knew I wasn't going to play (against Toronto) so there was no use in me getting frustrated. When I know I can't do something, I don't get frustrated over it. That's like saying I wish I could bench 500 pounds, I can't do it so I don't concern myself with it."

What Stegall will do when he returns is give the Blue Bombers an instant boost in a variety of departments.

Charisma: check.

Experience: check.

Leadership: check.

"To get a guy like that back in the lineup is important," said QB Kevin Glenn. "I think everybody wants to see him back just because of the success and the presence that he brings to the team, to the town and to the league."

Yin-yang

Glenn was like a yin without the yang against the Argonauts without Stegall. Yes, the pivot found receiver Derick Armstrong seven times for 116 yards so it's not as if there was no one to pass to. It just wasn't the same.

"It's his experience in the huddle that he brings to the game that's going to be important," said Berry. "I think we've got a good physical talent in Romby Bryant filling that spot right now, but Milt and Kevin have a relationship. I talk about knowing what the receiver is going to do and anticipating and Kevin and Milt have that working for them and it'll be nice to have that back. And of course Milt's on the field leadership, I can't measure that."


Videos

Photos