Jennifer has true grit

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:30 AM ET

HALIFAX -- Turns out there is a very legitimate reason that Jennifer Jones has not been near her usual top spot in shooting percentages this week.

The Manitoba skip has been playing with pain at the Canadian Curling Trials since early this week.

In fact, she has kidney stones, Jones revealed yesterday.

Jones was awakened with a stabbing pain in her side late Sunday night and called her mother -- a nurse -- very late Sunday night, said Larry Jones (her dad) as he watched intently from the stands.

Jones went to the hospital but put off surgery because she would have had to sit out the trials for 48 hours. But she has had to take morphine, which is allowed if authorized, for the pain.

"Yeah, I toughed it out," said Jones, who has shot in the low 60s in three games since. "It sucks.

"But I feel a lot better today."

Manitoba third Cathy Overton-Clapham, who rooms with Jones, said they stayed up all night Sunday with Jennifer and her mother.

"We had that one night," she said. "Other than that, she's OK. We were up all night but we came out and played well (beating Ontario's Sherry Middaugh 11-8) that morning. She's been fine since. I think she's been OK."

But team sports psychologist Cal Botterill told her parents that he was just amazed at the grit their daughter showed, her dad said.

Earlier this year, the reigning Canadian champion had to undergo emergency surgery to have her appendix removed. She also played on a bad ankle throughout the women's world championships in Scotland last year.

RYAN FIRE: B.C.'s Pat Ryan does not exactly wear his heart on his sleeve. But Jim Cotter, who throws last brick, revealed just how badly the 50-year-old veteran wants to win these trials.

"We knew coming into last season that Pat was thinking of hanging them up and thankfully, we poked him a few times and said it was an Olympic trials kind of thing and we knew that would be very important to him," said Cotter after B.C. improved to 5-2 and a third-place tie with Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton after an 8-1 victory over Nova Scotia's Shawn Adams.

"He's definitely fired up, you can't take that away from him. He's a competitor and he's been a competitor for a long time. It's built right into his system."

Ryan plays Alberta's Randy Ferbey and Ontario's Glenn Howard today.

CRAFTY CURLER: Newfoundland skip Brad Gushue readily admitted that he will lean heavily on veteran second Russ Howard during the playoffs (or tie-breakers).

"For sure, we've been around and we have a great guy in Russ with a ton of experience and stuff that we don't know, he's going to let us know," he said. "He's been in this situation a number of times. We're going to be calling on his experience the next couple of days as the pressure gradually escalates.

"I think it's a great choice for us to have Russ now that we're in this position because I'm definitely going to be calling on him."

TIE MEASURE: In Manitoba's morning game against Nova Scotia's Colleen Jones, a measure resulted in a tie and a blanked end, a rarity in curling circles.

"It's never actually happened to me before," Jennifer Jones said.

BITER: TSN will televise all three draws today, with the first starting at 6:30 a.m. Winnipeg time.


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