AN old teammate was not surprised to hear Obby Khan found his way back to the football field.
Khan, the former Bombers centre who announced his retirement prior to the season, officially joined the Calgary Stampeders Tuesday. The West Division club added him to the 46-man roster and gave him No. 60, the number he wore as a member of the Blue and Gold for six seasons.
"I think that he still felt like he could play and an opportunity opened for him, so not very surprised at all," veteran left tackle Glenn January said after practice.
Khan retired after the team told him they wanted to go in a different, younger direction along the offensive line. He never did file his retirement papers, though, and still felt like he could play.
January wished Khan well, and said the circumstances surrounding his departure are just the nature of the business.
"He was a great teammate and he was a welcome part of that room. We had a lot of good times together, and we had some difficult times, but we got it all together at the end and almost finished great last year."
Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice said this is the time when injuries force CFL teams to turn over every stone for Canadian talent, so he wasn't shocked when Khan landed in Calgary. LaPolice said if Winnipeg didn't bring in non-import special teamer James Green when they did (during the bye week), some other club would have grabbed him.
When asked if Khan offered his services to the Bombers before heading west, LaPolice said he wasn't sure how the process went, adding it was unlikely the team would have brought him back.
-- Henoc Muamba says he's ready to take the next step.
The young middle linebacker, the first overall selection in the 2011 Canadian draft, will make his first CFL start when the Bombers host the Tiger-Cats.
The 23-year-old had been spelling off other linebackers this season. Getting into the starting lineup represents a big hurdle cleared for Muamba and the Bombers, who have tried to remain as patient as they could with the youngster.
"My goal coming into this season and coming into this week was to continue to improve week to week," Muamba said Tuesday. "I'm ready to play the position right now."
LaPolice suggested the Hamilton offence will be an important test for Muamba, specifically going up against Ticats running back Chevon Walker -- one of the quickest players in the CFL. With his added reps on defence, Muamba will not be included on all special team coverage units.
The Bombers are dealing with a few minor injuries heading into Thursday's game. Kick returner Demond Washington is nursing a swollen ankle, while defensive end Jason Vega is dealing with a sore Achilles. He got stepped on during practice Monday. Both are expected to be on the roster.
Montreal linebacker Rod Davis was fined an undisclosed amount by the CFL Tuesday for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Winnipeg quarterback Alex Brink during the Aug. 3 loss to the Alouettes. Davis smacked Brink right in the face mask on the hard tackle, and no flag was thrown on the play. Brink was not injured on the play.