Brandon’s Chris Bauman of the Calgary Stampeders is tackled by Toronto Argonauts Pacino Horne (left) and Brandon Isaac during CFL action in Toronto in July 2012.
Chris Bauman will trade being able to help the Calgary Stampeders right now for being able to help when it will matter the most.
Obviously, being stuck on the sidelines recovering from a broken wrist isn’t what the 29-year-old Brandonite had in mind for his second season with the Stampeders, but after suffering the injury during a seemingly innocent play in training camp, that’s the hand Bauman has been dealt and he’s determined to be healthy and ready to help his team in time for the Canadian Football League playoffs.
Originally expected to be out for eight to 12 weeks, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound slotback is now at 13 weeks and counting. He got his cast off last week and is scheduled for another examination on Wednesday as he works to regain the strength and range of motion he lost from having his wrist immobilized for so long.
"When I had my cast, I was out running routes and catching as best I could," said Bauman, a former Vincent Massey High School and University of Regina standout who was chosen first overall by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the 2007 CFL draft. "But now that I’ve got my cast off, I’m just going to try and strengthen it and build up the mobility. I just don’t want any more setbacks. I’d rather do it right and be there for the home stretch."
Bauman was limited by calf injuries in his first season with the Stampeders, playing seven games and catching 16 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown. He hoped for a breakout this season with a better grasp of the playbook and was having a strong training camp when the injury struck.
While watching instead of playing has been tough, seeing the Stampeders break out to an 8-2 record that has them tied for first place in the West Division and the overall CFL standings has helped to keep his spirits up.
"It means if I do get healthy and everything goes well, I should be able to play in the playoffs," he said. "As long as we keep it up, the season goes longer."
The flipside of the Stampeders’ success is that they might be more reluctant to work in another player while they’re winning, but injuries pile up over the course of a long, demanding season and Bauman wants to be there for his team, if and when he’s needed.
"We have quite a few injuries right now (at) receiver and all over the team," he said. "So I think they just want as many guys healthy as possible, and if I get my chance I’ll take full advantage of it."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 9, 2013