Star linebacker Solomon Elimimian has returned to Riders practice.
Elimimian has missed Saskatchewan’s first two regular season games with a calf injury.
“He wants to be out there running around,” Saskatchewan head coach Craig Dickenson said.
“He has to get familiar with our terminology.”
Elimimian signed a one-year contract worth approximately $160,000 in early May after the B.C. Lions released the veteran defender. The final year of the Lions pact would have paid Elimimian in the $200,000 range.
Leos general manager Ed Hervey felt Elimimian’s time is up as an elite player in the CFL. Agent Bardia Ghahremani accused Hervey of ‘shady business’ surrounding the handling and timing of Elimimian’s release.
The 32-year-old Elimimian played nine years in Vancouver and compiled an impressive resume, bursting on the scene in 2010 as the league’s Most Outstanding Rookie. He became the first strictly defensive player to win the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player Award in 2014, earning two Most Outstanding Defensive Player Awards and five CFL all-star nods.
Through 118 career games, Elimimian has made 745 tackles, 36 special teams stops, 29 sacks, eight interceptions and eight forced fumbles. The Lions won the 2011 Grey Cup on home turf with Elimimian as the club’s defensive leader.
The Riders wanted Elimimian to be healthy before putting him back on the field.