Remarkable rebuild for Pottinger

BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:03 AM ET

TORONTO - Jason Pottinger wasn’t sure what was going to take longer to heal.

His knee.

Or what was in his head.

Turns out, both are just fine.

“I’m not sick of it at all. I love it,” Pottinger said, when asked if he’d tired yet of the eternal questions.

You know the one about: Are you playing?

Or, how does the knee feel?

There was a time this year when nobody expected Pottinger to play again in 2011. So, nobody bothered asking. But nine weeks after being declared out for the season with torn ligaments in his knee, Pottinger returned last week to make four tackles for the Toronto Argonauts.

“Mentally ... it was all about rebuilding the confidence, knowing everything was OK down there. I started to let go of the bad thoughts and started thinking about making plays,” Pottinger said Thursday. “At first you’re more mindful of whether you’re getting cut blocked. Whatever. It’s not a bad thing as long as you do what you need to do. If you’re just standing there on the field worrying about your knee that’s not a good thing.”

Pottinger gave himself a “B” in his return. He might’ve been a bit modest. “I missed one tackle ... slow on a couple plays,” he said.

The fact he was even out there to miss a tackle is a bit of a miracle. Pottinger had spent the majority of his time in the spotters booth with defensive coordinator Orlondo Steinauer on game days, and alongside linebackers coach Greg Quick during practices. He did take the first two days of practice off this week but returned Thursday and expects to play Sunday.

“There was a bit of swelling. In order to get my range of motion back, you have to allow the swelling to get out. Practicing doesn’t help placate swelling and today it felt a lot better.”

The Argonauts will need all the help they can get Saturday when they meet first-place Winnipeg. Quarterback Buck Pierce is coming off engineering a win over Montreal and has already dismantled Toronto’s defence once in July; a 33-24 Bombers win.

“You have to contain him and get in his face. If you don’t contain he’ll scramble around and make you look stupid. If you’re not getting in his face he’ll pick you apart. There’s no doubt if we don’t take Buck Pierce out of the game, so to speak, then we’re in for a long day.”


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