Blue give Bowman green light

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:27 AM ET

He was like one of those thoroughbreds snorting and kicking in his stall, anxious not to miss the race.

Winnipeg wide receiver Adarius Bowman tried to show the Blue Bombers coaches he was ready to return from a hip flexor injury last week, but they decided not to saddle him up.

"I was a little bit disappointed," Bowman said yesterday. "I mean, no one doesn't want to play. But I believe in my trainers and the coaching staff, and if they felt I needed another week, then that's what I did. Now I feel great and we'll go from here."

With Craphonso Thorpe out with a hamstring problem, Bowman will make his return against the Stampeders in Calgary this Saturday.

"Yeah, I'm very excited," said Bowman, who caught three passes for 25 yards when the Bombers beat Calgary 42-30 in Winnipeg.

Bowman, 24, has the added advantage of having played with new quarterback Michael Bishop when both were in Saskatchewan last season.

"I can't say I can use that because there's a new system over here and that makes it a lot different," said the 6-foot-4, 224-pound Oklahoma State product. "I did play with him a little bit in Saskatchewan last year but I think this is going to be a better story for us this year, a better situation."

Winnipeg head coach Mike Kelly sure hopes so.

"I expect, because of his past relationship with Michael, that the two of them will get on the same page," he said.

LOBENDAHN BACK: Also returning Saturday will be import LB Joe Lobendahn, who has recovered from a shoulder injury.

"He looked pretty good out there (yesterday), even in some coverages where he has to cover a deep area of the field," Kelly said.

Like the man he may replace in the starting lineup, Siddeeq Shabazz, Lobendahn hits like a speeding truck with no brakes.

"When he hits people, he strikes and having him in there with Barrin (Simpson), certainly gives us a lot of different looks that we can give people," Kelly said, adding Shabazz is "probable."

"We'll get Joe on one way or another because he gives us a lot of flexibility and the opportunity to be interchangeable and get a lot of good players on the field at the same time."

UNDERDOGS: Though the Bombers beat Calgary handily the last time out, the Stampeders have been installed as 141/2-point favourites.

"Gee, only 141/2? Wow!" Kelly responded facetiously. "I feel pretty good about that."

Of course, most coaches love being underdogs.

HASHMARKS: Injured SB Arjei Franklin was taking turns at the Juggs machine yesterday and may return sooner than expected ... Import Calgary LB LeMarcus Rowell suffered a knee injury at practice this week and has been placed on the nine-game injury list .... Calgary WR Ryan Thelwell (hamstring) remains doubtful.

TOP PLAYERS: Aside from Shabazz, the other CFL Players of the Month were Montreal QB Anthony Calvillo (offensive), Montreal WR/KR Larry Taylor (special teams) and Edmonton RB Calvin McCarty (Canadian).


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