Them’s the breaks

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:47 PM ET

The play was as routine as they get, maybe the office equivalent of answering the phone.

Only Glenn January’s office is filled with 250-pound men who want to do him harm. Or, at least, get through him to do harm to someone else.

So, yeah, January’s job comes with a few more hazards than, say, sportswriter.

“It’s a block I’ve done probably 10,000 times in my career,” the Blue Bomber offensive lineman was saying Tuesday.

January was referring to a block he threw against the Montreal Alouettes during the Bombers’ first drive of Sunday’s pre-season game. A block that might have helped him earn a job, the way it started.

The way it ended, that’s another story.

“I had a great block on the guy,” January said. “And when I went to cut (him), one way or another my arm kind of got caught out, and then I rolled on it, with it extended. It’s just one of those freak things.”

If you’re wondering what it feels like to tear your pectoral muscle, read on.

“When it first happened it felt like a rush of pain,” January continued.

“Almost like fire, like it was burning. And once I got up, the adrenaline kicked up on it, and it felt a bit better. And then, whenever the adrenaline wore off, it kind of hurt.”

January is chuckling at this point, the way only an O-lineman can when talking about extreme pain.

Actually, the concept of the serious injury is new to the second-year Bomber, this being the first one he’s had since they rebuilt his thumb in high school.

The timing of that first one was pretty good: it happened when he wasn’t playing anyway.

This one, well, it depends how you look at it.

It’s a break from two-a-days, right?

“That would be the bright side,” January said.

Of course, there’s also the dark side: the fact this could, conceivably, cost the 27-year-old Houston product his job.

The guy was already locked in a fight for one, maybe two, import spots on the line, a fight that includes impressive newcomer Kelly Butler, the 6-foot-8, 325-pound former NFLer.

The Bombers aren’t saying how long January will be out, and it seems even he doesn’t know.

“It’s still up in the air,” he said. “They know, but I don’t know that they’ve told me everything. They told me to take a day off and kind of collect my thoughts.

“They’re not sure on surgery, yet. Which I guess is better than them being sure on surgery right out of the box.”

There’s that bright side again.

The last time someone around here tore a pec, it was linebacker Barrin Simpson, who missed nearly three months of the 2008 season.

And while CFL rules dictate January can’t be released when he’s injured (he gets paid, too), by the time he gets back Butler could be well established and the Bombers may be comfortable with the idea of playing just one import up front.

He certainly wouldn’t be the first player to have his career derailed by injury.

January can’t worry about all that, though.

He simply has to hope he’s shown enough through last season, through camp and through the first 11 plays of Sunday’s game to earn him another shot, and not a ticket out of town the moment he’s cleared to play.

“You see people get hurt all the time,” January said. “I’ve always felt fortunate that I’ve come away injury free to this point in my career. You roll the dice every time you go out there, and sometimes you lose.”

How much January loses remains to be seen.

“I’ll tell you what, I’d rather have it happen now then happen towards the end of the season when we’re making a playoff push to the Cup,” he said. “It’s a long season, and I don’t plan on missing much of it.”

Contact Paul at paul.friesen@sunmedia.ca or 632-2788.


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