Brandon's Lois Fowler is hoping to recover from surgery in time to play golf, then prepare for a new curling season with a revamped foursome.
Fowler recently had a compressed nerve repaired in her throwing hand that had caused her to suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome the past four years.
"Maybe I'll be throwing them better than ever, seeing it's my right hand," the four-time women's provincial champion said from Brandon yesterday. "I was lucky enough to get it done between the curling and golf seasons. I've got pretty good movement in my hand already."
Fowler, who won the 2004 Manitoba title, refused to blame her failure to repeat last year on the problem.
"It never affected my curling but my hand was always going to sleep when I was driving and things like that," she said. "It was just like pins and needles all the time."
Meanwhile, third Gerri Cooke has decided to take the year off because she is starting a new painting company. So, second Maureen Bonar will move up to third, lead Lana Hunter to second and Fowler has added Tanya Robins, who left Kristen Williamson, at lead.
Fowler also plans to play senior this year but has yet to confirm her senior squad.
BITERS: The MCA rocks, which had been scrutinized in some circles after this year's Select, were used at both the Brier and men's world championship without incident and are earmarked to be employed at the 2005 Olympic trials in Halifax, Staniloff said. ... Unconfirmed rumours are that Jim Spencer and Terry McCrae are hooking up with Dave Boehmer while Don Harvey has agreed to become Jeff Stoughton's fifth man.