Braidwood buoyant after surgery

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:57 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos can relax and take one pending problem off their list.

Defensive end Adam Braidwood is in the midst of a very speedy recovery from ACL surgery and believes he will be ready for training camp this spring.

"It is going a lot better than I thought it would," said Braidwood from Vancouver yesterday. "I'm back training (with) weights four days a week.

"I am actually able to squat and do a few things that most people can't do six weeks out of a surgery.

"The doctor said I am at least a month and a half ahead of schedule. I will be ready 100% (for training camp)."

The former first-overall draft pick had surgery to repair a torn ACL in mid-December in Vancouver.

When he suffered the injury in October on a kickoff return against Saskatchewan, there were fears he could miss the start of the 2008 season.

Considering the Eskimos are already thin on the defensive line when it comes to non-imports, being without the third-year starter to begin the season would be a problem.

So, being ahead of schedule is the best possible news the Eskimo coaching staff could hope for.

"All of the swelling is gone and I feel good," continued Braidwood, who led the Esks with seven sacks last year.

"I have been off crutches for three weeks now and I am walking around fine.

"I have been riding the bike and doing some light stuff on the treadmill.

"I will be able to go full out, I would expect, in a month or so.

"I'm pretty happy."

MANN LOST: WIDE RECEIVER MAURICE MANN HAS LEFT THE ESKIMOS TO SIGN WITH THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS.

A starter for the last three Eskimo games last year, Mann caught nine passes for 127 yards.

The import receiver had NFL tryouts with Washington and Atlanta this off-season before settling with the Redskins.

QUICK HIT: THE ESKIMOS COULD ALSO LOSE TYLER EBELL TO THE NFL THIS OFF-SEASON.

Besides working out for Tampa Bay this off-season, Sun Media has learned that Ebell has heard from the Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs.

"I don't know (what I'm going to do). I'm taking my time to think about it," said Ebell.

A rookie running back last year with the Green and Gold, Ebell led the team in rushing and all-purpose yards.

However, he lost the starting job for the final two games last fall to Damien Anderson, who signed a contract extension this off-season.

In the option year of his CFL contract, Ebell has until Feb. 15 to sign an NFL deal.

FINISH LINES: EIGHT PLAYERS WITH TIES TO THE EDMONTON ESKIMOS FROM THE LAST TWO SEASONS WERE TAKEN IN THE ALL-AMERICAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE'S DRAFT LAST WEEKEND.

Headlining the list is former starting linebacker Quincy Stewart, who was selected 228th overall by the Arkansas team.

Reggie Myles (79th overall, Alabama), James Whitley (101, Michigan), Lawrence Smith (134, Tennessee), Kody Bliss (150, Alabama), Gerald Dixon (151, Alabama), Tony Tella (196, Florida) and Vince Strang (250, Texas) were also taken in the 50-round draft.

The brand new six-team American league is hoping to get off the ground this spring.


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