Hank hurries 'back

IAN BUSBY, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

Henry Burris' recovery from a dislocated shoulder isn't just impressive to some Calgary Stampeders, it's otherworldly.

Aside from the amazing abilities he shows at quarterback, there are some hidden things away from the field -- a super-hero alter ego as one of the X-Men.

"In the off-season, he spends time in Xavier's mansion learning to deal with these powers," said defensive lineman Randy Chevrier laughing.

"We've seen him cut his own pinky off and it grows right back. Mutation can happen to anyone at any time. We don't know why it happens.

"The mutation population is growing and Hank may be one of the most high-profile members.

"Others include Michael Jordan, who can fly, Tiger Woods, who can concentrate through any scenario. Wayne Gretzky was one of the originators of the ability to get out of sticky situations."

Burris is a little embarrassed by all the attention he's received about recovery from what appeared to be devastating injury suffered nearly three weeks ago.

He does admit it took a lot of hard work -- not super powers -- that will allow him to suit up tomorrow against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2 p.m., McMahon Stadium).

Athletic therapist Pat Clayton pushed Burris' shoulder hard over the time he was out and has him in position to play after missing just two starts.

"During the games, it's tough. I wish I was out there," Burris said. "It's a burning desire to be out there because I put all my effort, blood, sweat and tears into this.

"It's been a long, tough year and I want to finish it out. You need to finish what you start."

Burris is anxious to help get the Stampeders back on track. They have lost two straight with him out and are stuck in third place in the West Division, only two points up on the Edmonton Eskimos.

The Stamps say it will be a game-time decision whether Burris or Ben Sankey starts against the Bombers, but if the Eskimos beat the B.C. Lions today, that will put the heat on Calgary to field their best lineup.

Another factor is the rematch between these teams goes Friday in Winnipeg, giving the Stamps their fourth short week this season.

Head coach Tom Higgins said all along Burris is a quick healer, so he's not surprised to be dressing the quarterback this week.

But Higgins also credits the hard work of the doctors and training staff with the recovery, not any special powers.

"Whoever is hurt, Henry or anyone else, they would rather be practising than spending any time with Pat," Higgins said.

"Pat puts them through harder workouts than what we do practicewise. There's a motivation to get back and Pat likes that."

Another factor in Burris' recuperation is the power of positive thinking.

Smilin' Hank has kept his chin up and that may have helped.

"A lot of times when you are injured, you feel down in the dumps," Burris said.

"I've just been able to take care of myself, eat the right stuff, take my vitamins and those things.

"They've allowed me to come back from injuries a lot easier. I'm thankful for it and will continue to take care of myself well."


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