Argos get Bruce boost

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:23 AM ET

Even if his sore shoulder was in a sling, Arland Bruce would tell you he could help revive the struggling Argos offence.

Actions spoke louder than Bruce's words yesterday, however, as one of the league's most electrifying receivers brought a big charge to the team's practice.

Big enough, it appears, to return to the lineup for tomorrow's game against the East Division-leading Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Rogers Centre.

"I'm a franchise player, I plan on doing whatever the coaches ask me or whatever they need me to do," said Bruce, who took regular reps yesterday for the first time in more than three weeks and made a number of big catches.

"I feel better every day. I'm taking care of my body. We'll see what decision (the coaches) make."

With an injury-riddled offence that trails the league in a number of statistical categories, Bruce's return couldn't come at a more opportune time. Barring a setback, it will come tomorrow against the Argos' division rivals.

"I expect to be on the field," Bruce said. "I didn't expect to be sitting out this long."

Bruce has played in just seven games this season and not since the previous meeting with the Bombers on Aug. 24. With Tony Miles also out of the lineup, the Argos offence has struggled, even with quarterback Michael Bishop healthy.

With Bruce returning, Bishop will have the deep threat that suddenly makes the offence explosive.

"I feel good, I feel great," Bruce said. "I feel it's going to be something special if it works out for me. Every time I put on my cleats I want to put on a show."

Argos coach Mike (Pinball) Clemons said Bruce will be added to the 46-man roster today but would not confirm that he will be in the starting lineup tomorrow.

Despite their 4-7 record, the Argos are three-point favourites against the Bombers (7-3-1).

But Clemons feels if his team continues to get healthy, it can compete with any team in the division.

"For my part ... if we have a healthy ball club, we're not just there, we're on top," Clemons said.

The Argos got more good injury news yesterday when offensive lineman Mike Pearson came off the nine-week injury list and will make his first start since the season opener.

The O-line, which struggled against B.C. in a 40-7 blowout loss last week, will once again face a stern test from the tough Bombers defensive front.

STANDING O

It was a big day for Argos veteran Mike O'Shea who celebrated his 37th birthday and was inducted into the University of Guelph hall of fame.


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