Injury frustrates Bombers' Brown

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:48 AM ET

Doug Brown is on a roller-coaster ride.

That may sound like fun, but it's not.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers hulking defensive tackle will miss his fourth straight CFL game tomorrow night when his team takes on the Ottawa Renegades in the nation's capital.

The 6-foot-7, 302-pound Canadian has torn tendons in his left foot that feel fine one day, and not so great the next.

Brown hadn't missed a game in his career -- 81 straight, actually -- until the injury occurred Aug. 19 against Ottawa, so this stretch of watching games is killing him.

"It's kind of numbing," Brown said yesterday. "One game was extremely difficult, and now it's just kind of a big blur. Games are just flying by, and you almost get used to not being a part of it.

"It's very discouraging. ... It's a unique situation for me that I don't think I'm handling too well."

The Bombers (3-9) aren't handling Brown's absence too well, either. They've lost three straight games without him and desperately need a win tomorrow night against the Renegades (5-6) just to keep their slim post-season hopes alive.

"His loss is big, because he's a big-time player," Bombers head coach Jim Daley said.

Brown practised well on Monday and Tuesday, and hopes were high in Bomberville that the big man was coming back.

"(Tuesday) he had a very good practice," Daley said. "We were optimistic at the end of (Tuesday) that Doug would play, or at least hopeful if not optimistic.

"But his foot, which he worked very hard (Tuesday), took a setback overnight."

Brown said his injury is an obscure one, so the treatment of it is somewhat of a guessing game. That makes one wonder if it's time to pack him up for the rest of the season and allow the foot to heal completely.

Brown isn't ready to do that.

"I've spoken to Dr. (Neil) Craton quite a few times in the last few days, and he's encouraged that if I have the motivation to do it, I can fight through and play with this injury for hopefully a strong majority of what's left in the season," he said.

"... So I'll get my spirits up, and hopefully one of these days I'll actually be able to play instead of being let down after pushing it in practice."

Daley hopes to have Brown back for next Sunday's game in Montreal.

"I'm not aware that there is a concern that he won't return to the lineup," Daley said. "There's obviously a concern from a coaching point of view as to when that would be."


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