Prefontaine good to go

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

Noel Prefontaine is ready to play again, but he may have to tone down his aggressiveness.

The kicker/punter, whose overall contributions make him one of the most valuable players in the Argos lineup, practised yesterday in preparation for Friday's Eastern Division semi-final against Hamilton at the SkyDome.

He showed no effects of the hip injury he suffered in his plant leg in the second-last game of the season against the Ticats. He sat out last Thursday's season finale against Montreal.

"Our therapist staff did a pretty good and got the bruising out of there," Prefontaine said. "Now I just have to get to the point where I'm more comfortable again with my leg swinging and everything because I didn't do anything for a whole week. I felt pretty good. I should be pretty close to 100% when we get ready to play.

"I don't like taking any time off during the season because I feel you always have to try to maintain your stroke and do some things during practice to prepare for the game. When I missed out on the whole week I thought I'd go out and get a little extra work and it worked out. I'll be sore for the next couple of days, but by Friday I should be pretty good."

Head coach Pinball Clemons said he is a little bit more concerned with Prefontaine's punting than kicking because it requires more leg extension.

"We're really, really happy to see how far he's gone, but we still are cautiously optimistic," Clemons said.

Prefontaine incurred the injury when hit by Ticats defensive end Tim Cheatwood covering a kickoff in the first quarter.

The injury caused Prefontaine so much discomfort he could barely walk and it contributed to a badly missed field goal in the second quarter, after which he took himself out the game.

Prefontaine has played several games with injuries, some of them directly related to his desire to engage in contact on kickoffs and punts. He said he may have to alter his aggressiveness.

"I know that me being hurt put our team in a predicament we don't want to be in," Prefontaine said. "Especially at this point, I know that I need to do my job and it's kicking first. Asking me not to cover and do those things, I may pick my spots.

"I may be a little more concerned with it than I have been in the past, but it's very hard to go into a game and play differently than you've ever played. And that's the way I've always played. With that in mind, it may be a little different, but the again it may not."

Clemons joked the team has back-ordered a leash that can be tightened to limit Prefontaine's aggressiveness.

"If that doesn't work out we're thinking about some kind of shock therapy, something he'll put on and we'll zap it when he starts to get close to contact," Clemons said.


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