Lumsden ready to shoulder load

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:56 AM ET

Jesse Lumsden first let actions speak regarding his shoulder.

He lifted his left arm up over his head from where it had been at his side. He twisted it and turned it.

Range of motion, apparently, is perfect.

"It feels great," said the Hamilton Tiger-Cats running back yesterday. "The surgery went awesome, the rehab's been awesome, the strength is back. I feel positive, good in my head about it.

"Come this season, it's going to be a non-issue."

That could be the best news of the off-season for the Ticats.

Lumsden, in Calgary for the Henry Burris All-Star weekend, had a break-out campaign in 2007. The highly touted running back had 98 carries for 743 yards -- an incredible 7.6 yard average per carry -- and three touchdowns. He also had 26 receptions for 348 yards and a touchdown.

However, he played only 10 games, first missing time due to a collarbone injury and then ending his season early due to a torn labrum.

"They put seven anchors or something like that into it," he said. "It feels good, and that's all that matters, but they told me it's going to be the strongest thing on my body.

"I'd never had problems with my shoulders. It was an unlucky, freak thing (that) had nothing to do with how I run or how I play."

Should Lumsden be able to spend a whole season injury free, Hamilton will certainly cobble together a better record than the 3-15 mark of last season.

He believes his personal numbers will parlay over the course of a full season and be a boon for a Hamilton team that must be better.

"Absolutely," said the 6-ft.-2, 226-lb. runner who can beat defenders with finesse and force. "You've got to come in with a positive frame of mind. I'm gonna get ready to go and have a great year, help the Ticats win some games.

"The off-season acquisitions we made, not only the players but the front office and the coaching staff, has all been a very positive step forward. I'm excited to get started and see how it goes. I think we're gonna click together and have a great group."

Lumsden is one of the celebrities who'll partake in the fun-filled softball game tomorrow at Seaman Stadium in Okotoks, a fundraiser for Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

He's also started up a football camp for children in Hamilton, with the inaugural event taking place last month.

"We had great feedback. The one quote I got back was, 'I don't know how I've been playing football for so long without knowing all the stuff I learned from this camp.' That was from a linebacker," Lumsden proudly reported. "That makes me feel good and makes you know we're doing the right thing."

Could it be a sign he's put down roots in the Steel City?

Lumsden has twice been given NFL looks, by Seattle and Washington, but wouldn't discuss whether he'll try again south of the border.

"Right now, I'm saying Hamilton Tiger-Cats and that's all I'm focused on," he said. "I'm not looking towards the future far ahead, I'm looking to June 1 and that's it."


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