Nohra ready to restart career

BOB MACKIN -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 7:32 AM ET

The "brute from Beirut" is back with the B.C. Lions to lay down the law.

Fullback Mark Nohra, 32, is at training camp in Abbotsford after missing all of 2005. An early 2004 knee injury requiring anterior cruciate ligament surgery forced him to think of a career beyond football. So he returned to University of B.C. for his first year of law school.

"School's fun, but it's not like playing football," Nohra said. "You can't knock people around in the hallways at law school, so I thought I'd come out here and try it."

The 1997 fourth round draft pick by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats joined the Lions in 1998 for two seasons after being cut by the National Football League's Buffalo Bills. He played two seasons for the Edmonton Eskimos and one for the Ottawa Renegades before returning to B.C. in 2003.

Nohra is competing for a spot with two other Canadians: Veteran Lyle Green and 2005 first round pick Alexis Bwenge. His next CFL game would be his 100th and he's just three yards from reaching the 2,000-yard mark in rushing.

Nohra said rehabilitation went better than expected, Lions' head coach and general manager Wally Buono called and UBC's law faculty let him take a leave of absence.

"I'm feeling good, one day at a time," Nohra said. "Happy to be back."

Lions host their annual intra-squad scrimmage Sunday at 3 p.m. at Abbotsford Rotary Stadium. The club's first exhibition game is next Friday against the Calgary Stampeders at B.C. Place Stadium.


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