McLoughlin gets another 24 hours

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:10 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Mark McLoughlin can't kick. I mean, he's feeling pretty good.

If he can kick today, he'll be on the B.C. Lions roster tomorrow against the Edmonton Eskimos in the Western final.

Wally Buono has received a 24-hour extension from the league to make a call on his injured kicker with the addendum that if he doesn't come up lame when he takes his first real punches at the football, he'll be on the roster.

Much-maligned Duncan O'Mahony took all the reps here yesterday and is definitely on the roster. But Buono wouldn't name him his starter yet.

"Wally got another 24 hours,'' said O'Mahony, who beat writers here suggest hasn't made many field goals in practice despite praise from Buono for the way he's been kicking.

Buono, who looks to be damned if he does and damned if he doesn't when it comes to his kickers, says he'll be damned if he doesn't have his kicking situation backed up despite expectations he'd go exclusively with O'Mahony and put a position play on the roster.

"Right now, Mark is on our roster. Right now, I wouldn't say it's decided. The way Mark kicked today was encouraging. Duncan's kicking the last two weeks of practice has been encouraging,'' said Buono.

McLoughlin, who suffered a hamstring injury two weeks ago, kicked a half-dozen times from one side of the endzone to the other.

"Realistically this is a six-to eight-week injury,'' said the former Calgary Stampeder kicker Buono brought out of retirement to replace the ineffective O'Mahony more than a month ago.

"I'm hoping to come out and put a full day in,'' said McLoughlin. "I'm optimistic. I'm hoping. It felt OK today.''

McLoughlin says he's been spending time in a hyperbaric chamber.

"I'm 40 but I feel 33,'' he said.


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