Pierce hopes to be back soon

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:09 AM ET

This Buck is determined not to stop here this year, but he may not have a choice.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers oft-injured quarterback Buck Pierce will miss at least six games due to a dislocated elbow injury suffered during the 27-23 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the annual Labour Day Classic in Regina on Sunday.

Pierce, 28, may even be out for the season as the Bombers admitted they are wrestling whether to place him on the nine-game injury list where his salary would not count against the cap.

"It's going to be a six-or seven-week recovery, at least," Bomber head coach Paul LaPolice said Wednesday. "I know people have come back and played with dislocated elbows."

Even if Pierce is placed on the nine-game list, the Bombers have the option to pull one player off it. They will decide on which list to place him before Sunday's re-match with the Roughriders here.

Steven Jyles will take over as the club's starting quarterback.

Pierce must wait for the swelling to go down before doc tors can determine whether he will need surgery. Doctors in Regina also discovered a bone chip in his humerus.

"We still need some further tests, we'll look at it and weigh our options," said Pierce, who was wearing a brace on his elbow when he met with a media throng. "I've known quarterbacks who have had this happen before and they've gone without surgery. It all depends on the individual and the timetable you're looking at."

Pierce is still hoping to return before the current CFL campaign ends.

"There's still a lot of football left and I'm looking at the Grey Cup date still, so that gives me quite a bit of time still," he said. "My mindset is, when you're hurt, you try to heal as quick as you can."

Pierce does not believe the latest in a string of injuries is career-ending.

"I honestly feel that I can come back from it," said the six-year veteran. "It's not the first injury that a quarterback has had with his throwing arm like this. So, I'm going to stay positive and continue to stay on that path towards recovery."

Pierce started five games for Winnipeg this season, fi-ishing two. He suffered a knee sprain earlier this season.

"It's very discouraging but you have to take it for what it is and continue to stay positive," said Pierce, who completed 80 of 120 passes for 1,080 yards and six touchdowns, with four interceptions this season. "It was a freak thing and very unfortunate that it happened."

If anyone can recover from such an injury in time to play again this year, Pierce can.

"He's got that warrior in him that I haven't seen many players with," said veteran centre Obby Khan. "If he could move his arm, he would have played this weekend if the coach had let him. He's that crazy. Without a doubt in my mind, he'll be back."

Pierce has now suffered at least seven different injuries since he started his CFL career with the B.C. Lions in 2005.

"My heart goes out to him," Khan said. "I feel terrible for him. You see him in there every day; he's working, watching film. It's just a terrible circumstance. It's just a bad year for him ... I can't wait to get him back in there."

Pierce, who suffered the injury when he banged his elbow on a defender's helmet, admitted he sometimes wonders, 'Why me?'

"You do, but for how long?" he responded. "How long do you beat yourself up about that? How long do you think, what ifs? 'What if I could stay healthy for a season?' All these things. But I continue to take the positive spin, continue to try and encourage people around me and be a positive influence on a negative situation."


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