WINNIPEG - Buck Pierce is sidelined again, but the oft-injured Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback said it could always be worse.
Pierce said Tuesday that ligaments and a muscle in his left foot are torn, adding he has been told he should be back in action in no more than four weeks.
"It's frustrating," said a clearly dejected Pierce. "I'm not the only guy that gets hurt (but) it's a game (where) you put your body on the line and you love football and sometimes football doesn't love you back."
Last season Pierce made 16 starts, a record in his eight-year CFL career. His years with the B.C. Lions were marred by a number of absences due to injury, as was his first season with the Bombers in 2010.
He was knocked out of action early last Friday as Winnipeg went down 42-10 to the Edmonton Eskimos, racking up their third straight loss.
He doesn't think there was anything wrong with the way the hit was executed and says the injury is a "one-in-a-million" kind of thing.
"He kind of just hit me low and my foot just kind of bent the wrong way," he said. "I tried to get up and walk it off. I knew something was wrong but I didn't know it was bad as this."
On the plus side, he said no bones were broken.
Pierce is the second starting quarterback knocked out of action early in this CFL campaign for an extended period. Calgary's Drew Tate is likely done for the season thanks to a shoulder injury July 7.
General manager Joe Mack released a statement earlier Tuesday that sounded fairly optimistic about Pierce's return. Pierce and the team didn't learn the extent of the injury until late Monday evening.
"We received confirmation late yesterday evening that Buck has sustained torn ligaments and a torn muscle in his left foot as a result of Friday's game," Mack said.
"Buck will be in a walking boot for at least the next week and we have full confidence he will do everything in his power to be back on the field as quickly as possible."
Pierce said all he knows is what he was told by the doctors, but he believes he might be able to be back in action a little sooner than four weeks.
"Players have come back quicker from it as well," he said.
Although the offence has struggled lately, coach Paul LaPolice says he believes Pierce provides the best chance the Bombers have of winning.
Backup Alex Brink will start Wednesday in Toronto against the Argonauts (1-2) as Winnipeg (0-3) looks to snap it's losing streak.
It's been a rough season for the Bombers overall, with a number of starters on the combined injured list including running back Chris Garrett, tackle Andre Douglas and slotback Cory Watson. All three have yet to see a game and Garrett won't, since he tore his left Achilles tendon during a practice in June.
There were a total of 13 players on the regular and nine-game injured list as of Tuesday. Pierce said it was the worst season he's seen for early injuries.
"It's been tough," he said. "It hasn't been easy for us."