The Hamilton Tiger-Cats suffered a significant loss at training camp on Thursday.
Running back Martell Mallett suffered a torn Achilles and the Ticats say he will undergo surgery in the next 48 hours. Mallett will likely miss the 2012 season.
Mallett needed to be helped from the field by training staff when he went down with the injury. He was then sent to hospital for further evaluation.
The Tiger-Cats are now considering the return of 33-year-old Avon Cobourne, whom they released in February. It is believed he would want similar money to return.
The 33-year-old rushed for 961 yards and eight touchdowns last season after being one of the team's top free agent signings in 2011.
Other potential free agent replacements for Mallett include former Stampeders running back Joffrey Reynolds and former Roughrider Wes Cates. Reynolds has ties to Ticats starting quarterback Henry Burris as well as new head coach George Cortez from their days in Calgary together.
The 26-year-old Mallett was a West Division all-star with the B.C. Lions and capped his season being named the CFL's top rookie. He parlayed that success into a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, the start of a two-year roller-coaster ride that saw him spend time with three NFL clubs -- including two stints with the Eagles -- before returning to the CFL.
After initially signing with the Eagles, Mallett was waived twice by the NFL club before being added to the practice roster Sept. 5. However, Philadelphia released him again 16 days later.
Mallett signed with Hamilton on Jan. 30.
This is the second time the Tiger-Cats signed a free agent running back returning from the NFL and lost him quickly to a knee injury.
Kenton Keith blew his knee on the first day of training camp in 2009 and never played again after joining the Ticats late in the 2008 season.