Tough break for Riggers

DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:11 AM ET

A freak accident has put the Calgary Roughnecks' franchise player on the sidelines for six to eight weeks.

Taylor Wray, 23, the National Lacrosse League's 2004 co-defender of the year, broke his leg yesterday while training with the college team he coaches in North Carolina.

According to team officials, the 6-ft. 2-in., 225-lb. Edmonton native will be in a cast at least four weeks but intends to be back in the lineup sometime in February.

"I was doing some speed work and conditioning I've done a thousand times before when it happened," said Wray in a statement. "I was working on my agility with some cones when I just slipped and fell."

The Roughnecks open their season Jan. 1 in Colorado and host the San Jose Stealth Jan. 7 at the Saddledome.

After trading defender Rob Kirkby and with the likely retirement of Grant Hamilton, the defending NLL champs really couldn't afford to lose their best player.

"You can't replace a Taylor Wray, there's only one of him out there," said head coach Chris Hall. "He's an absolutely tremendous player. He's a franchise type player, there's no doubt about it. It's like Colorado losing Gary Gait or Rochester losing John Grant."

RAVENS STILL ALIVE: It looks like the financially troubled Vancouver Ravens can breathe a sigh of relief. The NLL's board of governors approved a tentative business model that should keep the fledgling franchise afloat.

"We're going to move forward with Vancouver as a member club in the 2005 season provided certain financial assurances are made," said commisioner Jim Jennings in a statement.


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