“It’s really good to be back there” | Richardson returns to training

This is certainly not how Steven Richardson imagined spending the last month and a half of his summer. The strong defensive tackle for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers suffered an injury during the club’s season opener – partially tearing the plantar fascia ligament in his foot – just when he looked set to stage a knockout campaign.

Instead, the man dubbed “Pan” by his teammates has gone from watching training in a walking boot to regularly dragging an exercise bike on the sidelines during the next stage of his rehabilitation to patiently waiting. get clearance for a comeback, possibly this Friday in Vancouver against the BC Lions.

“It really feels good to be back there,” said Richardson after training with the No. 1 defense on Monday. “I think I’m very excited to be able to see myself at the movies again. It gets so boring in the movie theater and your jersey number never shows up, so you just sit there watching. Overall it was refreshing. It was a beautiful day today, like, what 75 and sunny? Overall just good vibes.

Sharing the defensive tackle reps with Drake Nevis and Jake Thomas in 2019, Richardson had 25 tackles and two sacks as a CFL rookie. And as the camp opened up this year, it was Thomas who one day pointed at his teammate as yours truly walked past the defensive linemen and said, “Watch out for that guy… he’s going to have a blast.” huge year.

Then came the Week 1 injury and the long wait that followed as his teammates posted some garish numbers in a 6-1 start.

“It’s always great to watch these guys,” said Richardson. “I always tell them, ‘You might as well put your bags in now because I’m coming to get them.’

“It’s always a competition with these guys and I really believe we’re one of the best D lines in the league. So that I bring even more to the table… I look forward to it, they look forward to it. There’s so much chemistry in this room and I know we’re a very dominant bunch on the pitch when we’re all healthy together.

“I’ll be ready to go,” he added later. “It’s been a long time. Being able to be there with my teammates is just a different feeling. Not to mention if I had been playing all this time, coming out of a week off is just a different feeling because you know that it is. is like, “OK, we’ve had this week off and now it’s time to play.” But now the return of my seven week off week adds so much fuel to the fire. I’m good to go. Friday can’t be soon enough.

Richardson wasn’t the only familiar face in his post on Monday. Kick catcher / returner Janarion Grant was busy fielding punters and getting the occasional rep on offense, while linebacker Kyrie Wilson also worked hard on defense, intercepting a late pass. Their potential comeback not only helped a team already on a four-game winning streak, but also provided a boost in energy levels in training.

“It’s a big boost,” said defensive back Nick Taylor. “You see these guys and they worked the whole time. They were in the training room to get him in and try to get back as soon as possible. So to see these guys out there… I mean, after a week off and you’ve been out of football for a week, you’re pretty happy. Then you see these guys and they bring a whole new energy and our training heats up because everyone got a little boost seeing these guys.

“We’re 6-1 without them, but everyone knows the key to the CFL or any football is injuries. We’re getting people back and if we can keep everyone happy it would be a big, big, big win for the whole team to continue and finish strong.

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