End of the line for Marsh?

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, EDMONTON SUN

, Last Updated: 9:13 AM ET

The excitement bubbling within Steven Marsh can almost be felt through the phone line.

After ripping apart the ACL in his left knee in the 2005 Grey Cup and missing every Edmonton Eskimo snap last season, the ultra-talented linebacker passed a significant test yesterday.

"I actually ran (yesterday) on grass for the first time since I probably injured my knee," said Marsh on his cell phone in Tennessee.

"It wasn't a pretty run but I was able to run the full length of a football field and I ran like four laps. I was just amazed."

But unfortunately for the Eskimos, Marsh still doesn't believe the knee will be strong enough for training camp this spring.

In fact, the 27-year-old isn't sure if he'll be able to play at all this year.

That nasty scar tissue that built up around his knee cap after his ACL surgery still hasn't totally disappeared, meaning the Green and Gold still need to fill the critical void that he left at strong-side linebacker.

"I doubt if I'd be ready (for camp)," he said.

"But I am learning to put faith in God a little more everyday."

"I am not ruling out (playing at some point this year).

"I am still focused on trying to play.

"The two years I spent with Edmonton - that was funnest (time) I had playing football since high school."

And Marsh certainly feels very thankful the Eskimos have continued to pay him his $40,000 yearly salary.

Still under contract today, he genuinely feels fortunate to be part of the organization.

"It was huge, what they did for me last year as far as keeping me on contract," he said.

"I was just injured and not able to work. I didn't have a way of earning a living. I was left out in the dry.

"I wasn't expecting for them to pick up that contract and pay me throughout the season.

"That just speaks volumes for that organization."

Added head coach Danny Maciocia: "That is basically the Eskimo way.

"We wanted to help him financially for a year and still maintain his hopes of coming back."

But on the flip side, the meagre salary barely dented the Eskimo financial coffers and still allowed the club to retain his rights with the hope he can somehow beat the odds and completely recover.

"I would be ecstatic if (Marsh) could come back because he is a tremendous football player and tremendous person," continued Maciocia.

But for now, Marsh will stay on his daily rehab schedule in Tennessee while hoping for more days like yesterday.


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