Lefsrud is man in the middle

GERRY PRINCE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:13 AM ET

Sometimes the status quo is a good thing.

Other times it's not. And Monday afternoon might be one of those occasions for the Edmonton Eskimos.

With veteran centre Tim Prinsen recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery and battling infection in the same joint, Kevin Lefsrud is the man in the middle again this week.

Lefsrud filled in for Prinsen last week and has drawn the starting assignment for the Esks' crucial Thanksgiving Day showdown versus arch-rival Montreal.

"Tim Prinsen will not be playing, so Kevin Lefsrud is our centre," explained head coach Tom Higgins, who put his troops through a roughly hour-long workout Wednesday afternoon.

A guard by trade, Lefsrud did play the middle from time to time during his three-year stint with the Alouettes. Still, watching Lefsrud deliver the ball to quarterback Jason Maas in the shotgun was hard on Higgins.

"It wasn't the most enjoyable because that's something that we all take for granted," Higgins said. "It was disheartening but we rallied from it. And we rallied to give ourselves a chance.

"We missed Tim Prinsen, but no one is blaming anyone for winning or losing that football game."

With Lefsrud snapping the ball, Glen Carson draws in as the right guard. Although Higgins was quick to declare Prinsen injured for this week's game, he shot down the notion Prinsen is done for the season.

"It's still to early to say or tell," said Higgins. "He has a shunt in his arm to make sure he can take the antibiotics he needs.

"They started to cut back and they feel they have it under control but we don't have any timelines for him. The knee will heal as the infection improves."

MR. ED READY HOT TO TROT: Wide-out Ed Hervey worked out his injured right knee during Wednesday's impromptu practice and said he felt no worse for wear yesterday.

"There wasn't major swelling in the knee and, obviously, no pain and no discomfort," Hervey said.

The 31-year-old has missed his last five starts due to the ailment, which was triggered by a hit from behind during the Esks' Week 7 road loss in Toronto.

Higgins was noncommittal about putting Hervey back on the roster. However, there's little doubt in Hervey's mind that he'll be suiting up Monday.

Were the Esks sporting a record of 10-6-0, the USC product concedes he might be sitting again this week. But the Green and Gold are 7-8-0 and in the midst of a dogfight for a playoff spot.

"I feel healthy enough to come back," said Hervey. "I want to contribute to the team and help get the team out of this funk. Whatever I bring on Monday, you know it's going to be 100 per cent.

"If anything, I'm going to bring an energy level that I think we haven't had the last couple of games. My intensity is something that I bring to the game and I'm definitely looking forward to bringing it against Montreal, a team who I really don't care for."


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