Calgary Stampeders franchise quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell wants to keep proving the haters wrong.
“You get injured and then you turn 30 and people start saying, ‘oh maybe that hill is coming.’ I’ve definitely got a chip on my shoulder to come back and show the CFL what I have for my entire career. I’m just excited to get out there and do that,” Mitchell told TSN reporter Farhan Lalji.
Mitchell has been rehabbing following off-season shoulder surgery to fix a labral tear. He suffered the initial injury during the Stamps’ Week 3 win against B.C. in 2019, leaving the game late favouring his right arm, chest and shoulder area. Following the setback, the two-time CFL MOP was placed on the six-game injured list — it caused Mitchell to miss a start for the first time since 2014.
“Injuries, they always affect the way people think about you, no matter what age you are. Even being a younger quarterback, it’s something that they obviously think about,” Mitchell said.
Renowned sports doctor Neal ElAttrache, who works primarily out of Los Angeles, gave Mitchell a cortisone shot last July in order for him to be able to finish the season. After Calgary lost to Winnipeg in the Western Semi-Final, ElAttrache performed the surgery. He fixed Tom Brady’s ACL in 2008 and did multiple operations on the late five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant among other star athletes.
“I’ve never had a major injury, rehab is tedious, a grind and everyday it’s so different. Monday and Wednesday I’ll feel amazing and I’m like, ‘oh man, let’s go, let’s pick up a ball, I’m ready to throw,'” Mitchell said.
“And then Friday you wake up and you’re like, ‘man, I’m a little bit sore, what’s going on?’ And then Monday you feel good again. You don’t want to get ahead of yourself and you don’t want to get too down on yourself.”
CFL training camps are currently scheduled to open May 17 with regular season kick-off set for June 11. However, Mitchell realizes that due to the coronavirus pandemic, the dates could change and provide the two-time Grey Cup champion extra recovery time.
“I was confident on being back. I didn’t know if I’d be ready to throw the ball 50 times a day, twice a day during training camp, but I knew I was going to be there in training camp, be ready to go. And hopefully be full go, ready to be tackled, landing on my shoulder by Week 1,” Mitchell said.
“If it does get pushed back, which seems like a scenario that could possible right now, I’ll be ready to go.”