Silence on injury to LaBatte

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:56 AM ET

The Blue Bombers are obviously concerned about the injury to arguably their best offensive lineman.

Brendon LaBatte, a non-import, was felled by an upper-body injury that could have been quite serious during Tuesday's pre-season game against the Alouettes in Montreal.

"I'm not going to talk about injuries because, until we're prepared to release anything about injuries, we'll let you know," Winnipeg head coach Mike Kelly said sternly upon returning home from Montreal yesterday. "So, don't ask me any more about injuries, OK?"

The Bombers apparently will not know the full extent of LaBatte's injury until Saturday.

LEFORS OK: Kelly, however, was quite willing to discuss quarterback Stefan LeFors, who was a pedestrian 9-of-21 for 145 yards and no touchdowns, with one interception versus the Als. Those, someone pointed out, were Kevin Glenn-type numbers.

"He was very steady," Kelly said. "When we were down, he just knew he had to keep performing and that radiated into the rest of the team. That's what we're looking for."

LeFors, however, was harder on himself.

"Obviously, there were some things that I wish I had back but you learn from those mistakes," said LeFors, whose pick was returned 80 yards for the game's first TD. "Thank goodness it was pre-season and hopefully, we'll learn from those mistakes in the future."

But he was not discouraged.

"I think we're headed in the right direction," LeFors said. "We want to continue to improve each week. We don't want to peak too early ... It's a long season and hopefully, we can improve each time out."

LeFors played the first half and the first series of the third quarter.

"I wish there was more time to deal with the receivers just to get my timing down but that's all the time we were allowed to have and we'll make the best of it," said LeFors, who played about one quarter the previous week.

TRACK STAR: LeFors, meanwhile, was impressed by rookie RB Levarus Giles, who ran for a 77-yard TD on a draw play.

"He's a burner," he said. "He's got speed to kill. I just saw a little crease in there, he hit it and he's gone and it's fun watching a back like that getting into the open field and outrun people."

Giles, by the way, comes by his speed honestly as he also ran track at Jackson State.

"I ran the 100 and the 200 (metre races)," he said. "I ran a 10.4 100 and a 24.60 in the 200 ... I won the gold in the SWAC conference in the 100 and the 200."

Giles also returned three kickoffs for 71 yards.

"I did kickoff returns in college so I can do that, too," he said.

SURPRISE KR: LB/DB Jonathan Hefney was a surprise kickoff returner Tuesday and led both sides with three for 84 yards.

"We wouldn't have released the other guys we did if we didn't think we have people who could do it," said Kelly, adding some players will make the squad by the way they performed on special teams.

D-DAY: "We have some very difficult decisions to make," Kelly said. "All the decisions won't be strictly based onfield, either. It's how is the chemistry in the locker-room working? That makes it even more difficult because these are very good men that we have around here right now and have handled themselves just exemplary."


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