It’s a case of good timing for Dariusz Bladek.
Bladek, who suffered a right knee injury in the season opener against Hamilton, was back on the field with his teammates Tuesday as the Saskatchewan Roughriders got back onto the field for the first time since their 13 point win over B.C. at Mosaic Stadium last Saturday. The expectation is he will play after being brought off the six-game injured list early and the fact one of his fellow “hoggies” Philip Blake suffered a broken leg in the win and will be out for around eight weeks.
Bladek welcomes the chance to get back on the field, but he wishes it was under better circumstances.
“It’s unfortunate what happened to Blake.” Bladek said after Tuesday’s practice. “No matter how much I want to play, I don’t want to see one of my own go down. He’s a phenomenal leader in the room so that sucks.”
Head Coach Craig Dickenson says his plan is to have Bladek, Dakoda Shepley and Braden Schram to rotate at guard while Blake is laid up. Dickenson adds its tough to see Blake go down as he had been grading out as the team’s top offensive lineman.
There was also some good news when it comes to another injured offensive lineman. Brendon Labatte is eligible to come off the six-game list once Saturday’s game in Vancouver is over. He is allowed to practice with the team this week and that is what he was doing. He has not played a down this season due to what is believed to be a hip injury.
The Riders look to finish the first third of the season with a victory at B.C Place in the back half of a home-and-home Saturday night.