Smith running at full speed

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:17 PM ET

CALGARY — Brandon Smith had a long off-season of rehab, but at least he didn’t go through it alone.

Back home in Oakland and working through recovery of a torn ACL, the Calgary Stampeders defensive back had friend Trestin George there to push him.

George, a B.C. Lions defensive back, was going through the same injury recovery, and Smith pushed him back.

“Self-motivation is probably the hardest thing, so once you have someone going through the same thing you are doing, it makes it more fun,” said Smith, who suffered the injury in the 2009 pre-season and had surgery at the end of July.

“Obviously, it was unfortunate we both had injuries, but it was good we could go through it together and bounce ideas off each other.”

The result is Smith getting back to full health, and there’s no further proof the plan worked than his first practice of 2010 training camp.

The 25-year-old was running at full speed, working again at the wide-side halfback spot he occupied during the 2008 season.

“The mental aspect is the toughest part to get over,” Smith said. “If I was just doing some rehabbing, I would feel nicks and cracks. But once I’m out there competing, it’s all out of the window.

“I’m not thinking about whether my knee will hold up. The doctor gave me the clearance. I trust him.”

After Smith went down before the season, the Stamps were forced to start 2009 with rookie Davanzo Tate at that spot, but they eventually put John Eubanks in that spot.

Seeing the struggles the Stamps had on defence without him didn’t make Smith feel any better.

“It was tough. Every time something went wrong with the DBs, I felt it was part my responsibility,” Smith said. “There are some things I can help out and let them know what I see.

“When things got tough, I felt the pain along with them. I wasn’t the one engaging in it, but being part of the group, I felt the blame also.”

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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