Smith looks good after bone injury

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:09 AM ET

It was always listed as a groin pull but the reality is that Derrick Smith actually broke a bone in his back last season.

"Technically, it was a cracked sacrum," the Winnipeg Blue Bombers wide receiver revealed yesterday.

"That's just above the tailbone and I cracked it, which aggravated the nerves down my left side and messed with my groin a little bit."

So, he spent the off-season taking treatment for it and even got into yoga to stretch it out.

That could explain a slower start to camp this year. Smith, however, broke through with an outstanding display of his talents when he caught four passes during the club's controlled Blue-White scrimmage at Canad Inns Stadium yesterday.

"He had a great day," said Bomber head coach Jim Daley. "Derrick Smith, who has had a solid but not spectacular camp, had a spectacular scrimmage."

And that had the 6-foot, 190-pound speedster breathing a trifle easier.

"Yeah, it feels real good after coming off an injury and missing the last three games (last season), then coming out here on the first scrimmage and showing your progress," Smith said. "I'd say I was about a C or C-plus. It felt good just to come out and catch the ball, even though the weather wasn't too good. Just being able to catch the ball is what counts."

Although there are no lingering effects to the injury, Smith was a little wary about getting a blow in the back after making a catch.

'Always competitive'

"The kind of routes that I do, I kind of expect the cornerback to be there and a couple of times today, the cornerback wasn't there or wasn't coming as fast as I thought," he said. "I hope I can beat them like that all the time. Then I can turn it up, go somewhere and score."

Smith, 27, caught 35 passes for 556 yards and one touchdown in 10 games his rookie year here. But he is being pushed by a number of talented receivers in training camp.

"It's always competitive and if it ain't competitive, you ain't gonna get better," he said. "I caught four passes but none of them were for touchdowns. I'm trying to be a big-play guy this year."


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