Saskatchewan Roughriders middle linebacker Barrin Simpson proclaimed himself healthy Thursday — kind of.

"I'm good — about as good as expected right now," Simpson, 33, said at Mosaic Stadium after taking part in his first practice of the week. "Hey, this is the 11th game of the season, so you've got to go."

Head coach Ken Miller said that many of the Roughriders' veteran players could get time away from practice during the upcoming weeks. Simpson, for one, wasn't going to let the two days he took off this week affect his availability for Saturday's contest against the visiting Toronto Argonauts.

So, was he nursing the rib problem which kept him out of practice in previous weeks?

"Naw," Simpson replied. "Lower-body injury."

Asked why he wouldn't be more specific about his ailment, the 11-year CFL veteran suggested with a huge grin that teams often go after banged-up players.

"If a guy's got a shoulder injury, you want to bust him up coming across the middle," Simpson said, the smile spreading. "It's nothing personal. You're not trying to hurt him. It's just, 'Hey, if you're going to play hurt, we've got to treat you like you were healthy.' ''