LeFors' future up in air

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

The Stefan LeFors saga, full of more twists and turns than a Formula One race, is taking a break for a few months.

It will no doubt fire up again this winter, though, when the future of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback will return to the fore.

LeFors, who was placed on the nine-game injured list yesterday and will have surgery early next week on his non-throwing right shoulder, sees no reason why he won't be back in Winnipeg next season.

"Yeah, as of right now I have another year left and obviously nothing's guaranteed and nobody knows where they're going to be next year anyways," LeFors said. "So as of now, yeah.

"... (Head coach Mike Kelly) stated to me that he still believes in what I can do, so that's good to hear, but you never know. It's just how this business is, and you just take it one day at a time."

Yesterday's news ended a rough few months that began with so much promise for LeFors, who was brought in by Kelly in January to be the team's starting quarterback in place of the released Kevin Glenn.

Instead, LeFors quickly lost his No. 1 status, was forced to take a pay cut and got hurt.

"A roller-coaster with a deep free fall," is how LeFors described the last few months. "It's kind of one of those deals that never got up off the ground, so to speak. It's been rough, and this kind of puts an end to it all for me for this year.

"I'm not going to say it was a total waste, but it was tough. I'll just put it that way."

His pay cut, from $150,000 to $90,000 after he lost the starting job to Michael Bishop, was the most contentious issue. According to two sources, the Bombers told LeFors he had to take a pay cut or be released.

"They didn't put me in the best position," LeFors told the Sun last month. "But when I feel like I have a gun to my head, what am I going to do?"

Making the picture muddier was LeFors' shoulder, which the 28-year-old believes he originally hurt in Week 1 and aggravated in Week 3. LeFors had the shoulder examined on Tuesday, and surgery was deemed to be the best option by both LeFors and the club.

LeFors said if he knew how injured his shoulder was when he took the pay cut, he might have held off agreeing to a new deal. It's believed he can't file a grievance with the CFL Players' Association because too much time has passed.

"Obviously looking back on it, yeah, that would help me out financially," LeFors said. "But not knowing the full details of what was going on, thinking that maybe hey, it'll just get better over time with a little bit of treatment and rehab or a cortisone shot or whatever ... obviously that's not the case.

"So we just have to take this route now."

Kelly said the situation was "handled properly," that he and LeFors still have a "good relationship," and that he sees no reason why the former Edmonton Eskimo won't be back in Blue and Gold next year.

"I want to do right by Stef. I do," Kelly said. "So right now we go ahead and we put him on the nine-game and let's see if we can get that shoulder alleviated so that he has an opportunity to rehab in the off-season and be ready to go in the spring."

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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