Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell has resumed throwing following off-season shoulder surgery and it’s been pain-free so far.
Mitchell has been rehabbing following a procedure to fix a labral tear. He initially suffered the injury during the Stamps’ Week 3 win against B.C. in 2019. The 30-year-old left the game late favouring his right arm, chest and shoulder area. Following the setback, the two-time CFL MOP and Grey Cup champion was placed on the six-game injured list — it caused Mitchell to miss a start for the first time since 2014.
“There hasn’t been a lot of pain. Rehab is definitely tedious, but each checkpoint you see where you’re at, range of motion first. And then once you build the range of motion you gotta build strength in those ranges of motion,” Mitchell told 770 CHQR.
“It basically got to the point where I didn’t think there was any more strengthening that could be done, my shoulder felt great and strong in a lot of positions and I was ready to start testing leather.”
Renowned sports doctor Neal ElAttrache, who works primarily out of Los Angeles, fixed Mitchell’s shoulder. He did the same for Tom Brady’s ACL in 2008 and performed multiple operations on the late five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant among other star athletes.
“Started throwing last Monday and got up to 60 throws, and then again this Monday we went 60 throws and the arm responded well both times. No adverse reactions. Just keeping to the schedule as the surgeons and everybody sees fit,” Mitchell said.
“Accuracy still feels good and that’s the thing I was concerned most about. When you’re thinking about your throwing motion or how your shoulder feels you tend to guide things. The accuracy being there early on was a big relief for me.”
ElAttrache has been watching over Mitchell’s progress using Skype and FaceTime. Meanwhile, Jeff Peach, an athletic therapist based in Calgary, keeps a close eye in Cowtown. Peach helped Mitchell with his mechanics and throwing motion prior to the injury, his knowledge comes from a baseball-playing background.
“You can imagine as a quarterback or any kind of thrower, there’s a lot of ranges of motion that your shoulder can get put in. Right now the shoulder feels great,” Mitchell said.
The 2020 CFL season being pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic was a benefit for Mitchell’s recovery process, there was no rush. He’s been throwing at a quarterback target from 30 to 40 feet way.
“You’ve gotta make sure you really strengthen all the small muscles and the shoulder girdle, making sure it feels strong, you can land on it if you get tackled,” Mitchell said.
“I would say if training camp was today I would be out there doing my footwork and doing shorter throws, but I wouldn’t be out there ripping it yet.”