Having missed the past four months with an ankle injury, Montreal Alouettes running back William Stanback fielded questions from the media Tuesday with palpable excitement after his first practice back with the team.
"Bunch of excitement, emotions running through my head, being out there with my teammates once again: I miss it," said Stanback.
The 27-year-old returned to his team after suffering an ankle injury in the Alouettes' season-opening loss to the Calgary Stampeders.
"It's been about three-and-a-half, four months. (The) last time I been on the field was June ninth, and just sitting at home, I was in a mental state where it was really hard for me to get through each day because right now, my life is nothing but football and family."
Having been absent from the backfield for so long, Stanback admitted the isolation and rehab process weighed on him.
"Not being able to participate in practices and travel with my guys and to go out there and face opponents every weekend, it kind of hurt."
Of those that helped him remain positive through his healing process, Stanback credited his family the most.
"Just being on the phone with my wife, talking on facetime with my kids every day, seeing the smiles on their faces, seeing how excited they are to see my name being brought up on TSN or RDS... me seeing them happy just always made me happy and helped me to continue every day."
As for how his ankle feels, Stanback said that while his ankle feels great, there's still some work to be done on his conditioning, comfort and getting back into rhythm
"I'm prepared to continue to work and make sure that I get my conditioning back up to par so when I do get back out there on the field, I hit the ground running."
Alouettes head coach Danny Maciocia disclosed to reporters earlier that the plan is for the reigning East Division’s Most Outstanding Player to dress on October 10th when the Als take on the Ottawa Redblacks, which Stanback believes he'll be ready for.
"I feel that if I had to play anytime sooner, I feel that I can play, just maybe be limited or something like that...I feel really good, I feel confident."