The Montreal Alouettes are reportedly planning to have a Montreal native back on the gridiron when they play at Toronto on July 19, his second game back after suffering a pulmonary embolism earlier this year.
According to Footwear News, Lirim Hajrullahu, the Alouettes’ wide receiver and who was born in the city, suffered from a pulmonary embolism while away playing football in the States.
“It’s an injury and it could happen to anyone,” he told Shaili Jain Shah, an Alouettes reporter, about why he was out of commission for most of the CFL season. “If something happens, you have to follow the advice.”
Terrible injuries happen every year, but Hajirullahu’s is a particularly rare and frightening situation. Tom Williams Jr., a Medicine Hat newspaper reporter, reported last week that Hajrullahu had reportedly had a late-night encounter with a “cold pocket,” which an athlete is often warned about due to the risk of the painful clot that could burst should it react to blood loss.
Prosthetic legs are not used, because they are simply too bulky and close to a player’s real legs, so he was able to slip on the new ones and play catch with his son. He also had to go through a few other tests, and was cleared to return to the team — albeit temporarily.
According to a subsequent column by Shah, Hajirullahu’s team eventually fired him, probably because he wouldn’t answer his phone. The 29-year-old is healthy now and has returned to the Alouettes and appears ready to kick-start his comeback. According to Footwear News, he had allegedly been in near daily contact with his family.
He is slated to play in the Alouettes’ game on July 19.