REGINA -- Five Riders have suffered an Achilles injury in the month leading up to the return of the CFL.

Defensive lineman Tim Williams sustained his injury during training camp on July 23, this Achilles rupture comes after four other players suffered the injury during a workout session before camp began.

“I’ve never seen that many Achilles injuries ever and so to lose another one is really, really tough,” said head coach Craig Dickenson.

Dickenson called the phenomenon a “head scratcher,” but is attributing the increase in the injury to the time away.

“I think the layoff… that’s I think, that’s the X factor.”

Dr. Jordan Anderson, sport medicine physician at Prairie Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, agrees and said a big factor has to do with being away.

Despite working hard to stay in football shape over the break, Dr. Anderson said jumping back in to a season is a bit more than their bodies can handle.

“I think the stress that they’re putting through their bodies, and through their Achilles, is a little more than they have been able to prepare for,” he explained.

“I don’t think that’s anyone’s fault, I think that’s just the nature of losing a season.”

He said he believes the coaches, trainers and athletic therapists are doing everything right when it comes to training, drills and conditioning, but even with the season away, an event like this still requires a lot of bad luck.

“I think they’re doing a really good job at trying to get these guys ready for a season, and especially without a preseason, you have to push these guys to get ready,” Dr. Anderson said.

Dickenson is “knocking on wood” this was the final Achilles injury, but understands, unfortunately, injuries happen when players are being explosive.

Dr. Anderson said this is the first he’s heard from anyone in any sport of five Achilles injuries in such a short period of time.

“It’s something that we’ve all been following very closely and it’s unfortunate, but hopefully once the season gets started there’s fewer and fewer of these issues so, fingers crossed.”