(Trois-Rivières) Tyson Philpot and Greg Ellingson are closing in on a return to play, but Jason Maas will give his two wide receivers plenty of time to get back to 100% capacity.

This is what the head coach of the Montreal Alouettes said on Wednesday, at the end of his team’s training at the Diablos stadium at Cégep de Trois-Rivières.

Philpot has been dragging an undisclosed lower-body injury for a few days and has been participating in a few drills with the receiving group. However, Philpot is not yet sufficiently recovered to take part in the rehearsals that the attack performs against the defense.

Ditto for Ellingson, whom we briefly saw at the start of the session.

Maas has already ruled earlier this week that the Alouettes’ first preseason game, Friday against the Ottawa Redblacks, will be more the business of young players wishing to carve out a position. Ellingson and Philpot – most likely the club’s No. 1 and 2 receivers, at least at the start of the season – are therefore guaranteed not to be on the trip to the federal capital.

The coach said the two men will gradually get back together next week, in view of the club’s second preseason game and the start of the season.

Ellingson was acquired on the free agent market this winter. The 34-year-old American was plagued by injuries last season, but when he played he was a big help for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, catching 38 balls for 598 yards and three touchdowns in eight games only. He returned in time for the playoffs and helped the Bombers reach the Grand Finals.

He comes to Montreal after nine successful seasons with Hamilton, Ottawa, Edmonton and Winnipeg. He caught 587 passes for 8,550 yards and 45 career touchdowns. He was named to the East or West Conference All-Star Teams from 2016-2019 and to the CFL All-Star Team in 2017.

Philpot was a 2022 CFL Most Valuable Player finalist. caught 39 passes for 459 yards and two touchdowns.

The Alouettes will play their second game of training camp at home against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on June 2. The last cuts will be made following this meeting.

Maas and general manager Danny Maciocia made a change on Tuesday, as offensive lineman Jauan Williams was cut and defensive back J.R. Reed joined Trois-Rivières.