Arthur set for surgery

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:40 AM ET

One of the players just acquired from Calgary will not play a single down for the Blue Bombers this season.

Non-import receiver Jabari Arthur will undergo surgery to repair a broken bone in his foot and will be out for the season, Winnipeg director of player personnel John Murphy confirmed last night.

"We felt that it was in his best, long-term interest to get it done," Murphy said. "Otherwise, it is the type of injury where he could come back and he could get the same injury again. So we decided to be pro-active rather than reactive.

"It's a nine-12 week rehab process after surgery but we feel that he's a long-term guy for us anyway. Even without surgery, it would probably take him a few weeks to learn the offence once he was ready anyway so, why risk further injury?"

Winnipeg sent import receiver Romby Bryant and Canadian pass-catcher Arjei Franklin to the Stampeders for Arthur, import receiver/kick returner Titus Ryan and import defensive end Odell Willis. Although the deal was not contingent upon all the players involved passing their physicals, Murphy believes something could be worked out if Arthur is unable to play next year.

"Teams do take that chance," Stampeders director of player personnel Jim Barker said. "We took the same chance with Arjei."

Franklin just came off the nine-game injury list this week and has already practised with Calgary.

"It's a 'Jones fracture' and it's one of those things that take a long time to heal," Arthur said before learning that the club doctors had decided on the surgery.

The 'Jones fracture' refers to the top of the bone in the mid-foot area and can cause pain over the middle and outside area of the foot. It is often accompanied with swelling and makes it difficult to even walk. If it becomes chronic, surgery may be needed to correct the problem. The usual procedure is to screw the fracture in place and it may involve a skin graft.

"It's definitely frustrating because I would love being out there, running around and catching the ball and getting to know the quarterbacks," said Arthur, 27.

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Akron product was believed to be a key to the deal that sent two proven CFL receivers westward.

"I started off with a pretty good pre-season," he said. "Unfortunately, I got injured and it was frustrating not being able to participate for the whole season, then coming over here and wanting to impress the coaches and show them what I can do. Unfortunately, I'm not able to go. But it is what it is."

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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