Waiting for Kevin

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:35 AM ET

Is Kevin Lefsrud going to return to the Edmonton Eskimos this season?

That has become a major question -- again -- after the stellar offensive lineman admitted yesterday that he's thinking of talking to the team about a potential comeback.

Although he retired to the family farm this winter after being involved in a public contract dispute with Eskimo management, the talented centre/guard wants to rejoin the club.

"I need to hit somebody," he quipped yesterday.

"This farming doesn't give you an avenue to release the aggression.

"The hired help doesn't want me beating up on them."

On a more serious note, the 29-year-old non-import -- who was the Eskimos' top lineman in 2005 and 2004 -- wants to help close friend Danny Maciocia, who's routinely criticized for a team that is in horrible shape at 3-7 in the West Division basement.

"It's tough hearing your old team take it the way they have," said Lefsrud, "and it's tough hearing your friend getting ragged on.

"I'd love to help him out."

Lefsrud is thinking of talking with Eskimo brass late Friday after the Labour Day rematch is over.

Maciocia will definitely listen to Lefsrud if he makes the offer to return, but it's very questionable if the two sides would be able to reach a deal.

SIT DOWN AND TALK

"We will sit down and talk, but it has to be right for all parties involved," said Maciocia.

"If he is looking to come back for the last four games, it wouldn't make any sense."

In Lefsrud's world, he's hoping to come back for nine games.

Providing his injured left wrist completely heals in the next two weeks, Lefsrud believes he can begin playing on Sept. 22 when Hamilton plays at Commonwealth.

That would be Game 12 in an 18-game sked. Obviously, Lefsrud is hoping for three more playoff games on top of that.

THERE ARE ISSUES

But for Maciocia, there are issues of team chemistry and possibly stunting the development of younger players to think about because Lefsrud has no plans to return for a full season next year if he makes a comeback this fall.

When the topic of a possible Lefsrud return was raised in the locker-room yesterday, veteran linemen Dan Comiskey and Tim Bakker politely offered the same reply: "No comment."

Besides the Eskimos' internal issues, the price has to be right for Lefsrud -- and after failing to get a raise in his contract dispute this winter, he's not too optimistic.

"The stars have to align," he said. "The chances of (the return) happening are pretty slim because it's got be something financially viable.

"I know what my health is worth to me."

Lefsrud has a per-game payment figure in his head, but he isn't publicly revealing it.

However, even with all the potential pitfalls to a deal being worked out, there's the hard-cold reality that Comiskey has been dealing with post-concussion symptoms for a month.

He still isn't cleared to play, while other regular starting guard Glen Carson was benched for the entire second half on Monday, leaving the job to inexperienced Rhett McLane.

In patchwork condition on Labour Day, the offensive line surrendered five sacks to the Calgary Stampeders and left quarterback Ricky Ray running for his life at times.

In total, the revamped line this year has been charged with giving up 32 sacks, just two shy of the worst total in the league.

If the line's play and/or health doesn't improve or becomes worse, the big question mark surrounding a potential deal could be quickly erased.


Videos

Photos