Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell has a timeline for when he wants to start slinging a football again following off-season shoulder surgery.
“I know that I can pick up the ball and starting throwing at the end of April beginning of May. And from there how fast do I progress in order to be ready for training camp and then for the season,” Mitchell said on Sportsnet 960 radio in Cowtown.
“I would say anything they’ve asked me to do, I have been ahead of that, but it’s arbitrary in the sense that you’re just setting goals for yourself, the surgeon and the doctors. Once you surpass those, it’s a confidence thing.”
Calgary’s star pivot completed 23-of-34 passes for 252 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in the Stamps’ Week 3 win against B.C. but left the game late favouring his right arm, chest and shoulder area. Following the setback, the two-time former M.O.P. was placed on the six-game injured list. It caused Mitchell to miss a start for the first time since 2014.
“It’s a labral tear — repairing the shoulder and getting it healthy and strong again. The pec was really a symptom of what had happened, once I pushed past that a little bit, I was able to compensate at times and find different ways to throw and found some success there for five, six games coming off that injury,” Mitchell said.
“It wasn’t something that went away, it was something that I had to fight through everyday. At the end it juts got the better of me. It was a personal decision that I made, in talking with doctors and Dave [Dickenson] and those guys luckily they were on board and had the confidence in me to get it done.”
Mitchell had the MRI on his pectoral muscle sent to renowned doctor Neal ElAttrache who works primarily out of Los Angeles. ElAttrache performed Tom Brady’s ACL surgery in 2008 and multiple operations on the late five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant among other star athletes.
“I feel good. Rehabbing five days a week. Everybody that goes through surgery the cliche saying is ‘ahead of schedule.’ I don’t think anybody really knows what their schedule is. You don’t really know what date you’re going to be back by, it’s just a test, retest kind of thing,” Mitchell said.
“I’m continuing to move past certain milestones as far as external rotation, degrees of external rotation, strength and certain ranges of motion. Mentally I’m good and confident about everything. I feel I’m going to be back pretty strong.”
Mitchell received a cortisone shot for his injured pectoral muscle in late July. The results and expert opinion came back from ElAttrache with a small issue that needed shrinking in order to subside the pain. ElAttrache took care of the shot and surgery to ensure Mitchell rehabs back to full health
“I’m sure no one wants to hear their franchise guy is going under the knife, but it was definitely necessary to get me back to where I want to be and protect myself at least for the next five to eight to 10 years or wherever my career might take me,” Mitchell said.
The unfortunate pectoral injury limited Mitchell to 11 games in 2019. He passed for 3,464 yards with 19 touchdowns against 11 interceptions while completing 66 per cent of his attempts. Calgary went 12-6 during the regular season, finishing second-place in the West Division, but lost the Western Semi-Final at McMahon Stadium to the eventual Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
“No matter what the coaches are going to be cautious. Training camp and a healthy shoulder, kills your shoulder — you’re throwing twice a day sometimes. My hope is to be back in training camp,” Mitchell said.
“It’s just seeing how I progress when I start throwing the football. If I’m feeling good enough to be in training camp, then I’m going to do it because that’s when I can get better and get sharp going into the season.”