10/11/2011 06:38 EDT | Updated 12/11/2011 05:12 EST

Lions in no hurry to rush Elimimian back for Sunday's game against Riders

VANCOUVER - The B.C. Lions are taking a wait-and-see approach on whether linebacker Solomon Elimimian will play in Sunday's game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Elimimian, who is tied with Saskatchewan's Jerrell Freeman for the CFL lead in tackles with 82, suffered a sprained right ankle in the Lions' win over the Calgary Stampeders on Saturday night.

Wally Buono, the Lions' coach and general manager, said Elimimian has responded to treatment.

"The big thing is we are not going to be stupid," Buono said Tuesday. "We are not in a big hurry.

"He's got a lot better today. These kind of things you have to be careful about because they do linger."

The Lions did not practise Tuesday.

Buono said if Elimimian doesn't return to practice by Thursday, when the team workouts in pads, the 24-year-old probably won't play on the weekend.

"He's got to practise on pad day,'' said Buono. "If he doesn't, then he doesn't play.

"You can't risk having a guy come (to Regina), take two or three plays, then take himself out (of the game). Now you have put a burden on the whole team. These games are too critical."

Elimimian, a six-foot, 225-pound native of Calabar, Nigeria, was the CFL's outstanding rookie last season.

So far this year he has four quarterback sacks and two forced fumbles.

The Lions, who started the season 0-5, have won seven consecutive games and lead the West Division with a 8-6 record.

The Lions, Stampeders and Edmonton Eskimos are all tied with 16 points. The Lions have won the season series against Calgary and have beaten Edmonton in two of the three games the teams have played.

B.C. and Edmonton meet again Oct. 29.

The Riders are 4-10.