One step forward

Edmonton Eskimos linebacker Steven Marsh, out all season because of a serious knee injury, is...

Edmonton Eskimos linebacker Steven Marsh, out all season because of a serious knee injury, is finally reporting some progress. (Edmonton Sun File/Jason Franson)

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:38 AM ET

With the Edmonton Eskimos in desperate need of some promising news, Steven Marsh is delivering it from his Tennessee home.

Unable to play this entire season because of a serious knee problem, the Eskimos' outstanding linebacker is finally seeing some improvement.

Nobody is going to guarantee right now that Marsh will play for the Green and Gold again, but he's literally taking steps in the right direction.

"To me it is a huge change," he said yesterday.

"I'm still not running or anything, but I can feel the simple things - like walking up and down stairs or squatting - (being) a whole lot easier for me to do now."

Unfortunately for the ultra-talented import, he's suffering from a condition called arthrofibrosis.

After off-season surgery to repair a torn ACL, dense scar tissue built up in the knee, severely limiting his range of motion.

"But the scar tissue is stretching itself out and I think it is becoming a little more loose," he continued.

The 26-year-old import has been told by doctors that the rest of his left knee is in relatively fine shape.

"The muscle mass is good in there - it's almost as good as the other (knee)," he remarked.

It all means that Marsh believes he will play football again, which is something that didn't seem very possible when he left Edmonton after training camp this spring.

"I don't know what the timeline is on (playing again)," he stated.

"Once I get this scar tissue broken up to where I am able to have full range of motion on my own I think I'll be able to get myself back into the condition of playing."

And if he's healthy enough to play next spring, his rights will still belong to the Eskimos because the club has quietly reworked Marsh's contract.

Arguably the Esks' most talented defensive player in 2005, Marsh was set to become a free agent at the end of this frustrating year.

But he has signed a new deal, meaning he's Eskimo property until the end of 2007.

And because he's been on the injured list for every game this year, Marsh has been collecting a full paycheque from the Green and Gold.

FINISH LINES: Due to the fact Edmonton has played very few Saturday games on CBC, Marsh hasn't been able to see his teammates on satellite TV in Tennessee.

But by following the team on the Internet and talking with close friends in the Eskimo locker-room, he's aware of the playoff nightmare facing the Green and Gold.

"I just hope those guys pick it up over these last games," he said.

"And who knows how things can change? I never say never until it is over."


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