TORONTO -- Scott Milanovich is going to take his time on this one.
Faced with the decision of whether to start quarterback Ricky Ray in a crucial Thanksgiving Monday matchup with the Tiger-Cats, Milanovich made it clear Wednesday that he’ll take as long as he needs before making an announcement.
“Ricky improved yesterday and he is going to get some reps tomorrow, he hasn’t had a rep in six or seven weeks,” Milanovich told Argonauts.ca.
“So we will look and see how it is behind center and it’s probably something that will take a couple days before we make a final decision, but he will get some reps tomorrow,” he added.
Ray hasn’t seen a sniff of action since suffering a partially torn teres major muscle in his shoulder on Aug. 29.
He did suit up for last week’s loss to Hamilton, but was listed as the team’s third-string pivot behind Zach Collaros and Trevor Harris.
In Ray’s absence, Collaros prevented the Good Ship Argos from sinking, collecting wins in four of six games.
It’s for that reason that Milanovich feels absolutely no pressure to rush Ray back into action.
“We don’t have to send (Ray) out there at 75-80 per cent because of the job that Zach has done,” he said.
“But when Ricky gets up to 90-98 per cent he is going to be out there because he is one of the best there is. That’s kind of the determination we have to make. We’re looking forward to seeing how he looks in pads tomorrow.”
When asked about his status for this week, Ray couldn't commit to giving a definitive answer.
“I don’t know. If I am good enough to play then it is 100 per cent,” he said.
His road to recovery has been arduous to say the least.
Ray admitted that it started off slow, but progress was made by short-tossing medicine balls. Once he was ready, he graduated to throwing footballs at very short distances.
From there, Ray focused on getting his conditioning back in his throwing arm, meaning the number of tosses increased with each workout.
“(Rehab) has been pretty good. Obviously each day is a new day and you come in and you’re hoping it’s going to feel a lot better and sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t,” he said.
“That’s kind of what you go through, but overall I have been making decent progress each week up to this week where I have a chance to be back in the lineup and hopefully it all goes well,” he added.
Should Ray be forced to miss another week, he’s confident that Collaros can rebound following what was arguably his least impressive performance of his young career.
“For the most part (Collaros) has been playing quarterback for a long time and he knows how to go out there and play the game. So you just really have to let him go out there and play,” he said.
“We’re so well coached, we go over so much information in our meetings and through film work that there is not a lot of opportunity for things that aren’t already said for me to step in and say anything to him.”
Suffice to say, when the day comes for Ray to make his return – he’ll be ready.