Jabari's foot in door

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:11 PM ET

Football players normally get hurt in games.

Jabari Arthur does not have that problem.

No, practice has been the bane of the Winnipeg Blue Bomber receiver's existence so far in his CFL career.

As a member of the Calgary Stampeders, Arthur missed two games in 2008 due to a sprained ankle suffered in practice. He then he suffered a Jones fracture in his right foot during the first practice after last year's training camp that caused him to miss the entire 2009 season.

Arthur was in Winnipeg earlier this week to have his foot examined by the team's doctor, and what he heard has him looking very much forward to 2010.

"They gave me some good news," Arthur said Tuesday at Canad Inns Stadium. "They said it's healed very, very well.

"So I can start progressing now and start the conditioning. I've been doing some conditioning stuff today, and I'm pooped."

It sure beats hopping around on crutches, which is how Arthur got around Winnipeg last fall after the Calgary Stampeders traded him to the Bombers in September as part of the Romby Bryant deal.

The Bombers figured he was ready to come off the injured list when they acquired him, but X-rays showed that surgery was needed on his foot.

"I was going to try it," Arthur said. "I was game."

Instead, he went under the knife on Oct. 1. The foot is now about 95% healthy, and the doctor told him he can start doing sprints and cuts. Arthur said he will "definitely" be ready for the start of training camp on June 6.

While the foot appears to be fine, the big question now is whether or not Arthur can deliver on the field. He has been in the CFL since September 2008 but is still looking for his first catch. He's missed more games due to injury (20) than he's played (six).

On the other side of the coin, he has a lot going for him. He is 6-foot-4, 225 pounds and Canadian. He was a star at the University of Akron, even generating Heisman Trophy buzz during his senior season when he caught 86 passes for 1,171 yards and 10 touchdowns.

He won the Grey Cup with Calgary in 2008 as a special teamer, and in two pre-season games last year with the Stamps he had five catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns, including an 81-yard catch-and-run for a score.

"I'm obviously going to try to use my size as an advantage," Arthur said. "I've been in the weight room and working out hard this off-season, so I'm going to try to be a physical receiver out there and try to be an impact for the offence."

The 27-year-old Montreal native, who had a failed tryout with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs in the summer of 2008, can't wait to finally make his mark at the pro level.

"I got some goose bumps just walking up to the stadium, and I'm excited to get back here and get ready to get things rolling," said Arthur, who is bilingual.

"This year I'm coming in with a clean slate, a brand new opportunity and some new coaches. I'm just really excited to get back here and get back with the guys on the field and do my thing."

Arthur joins fellow Canadians Brock Ralph, Aaron Hargreaves, Dante Luciani, Josh Svec and Scott McHenry in the receiving corps. He played the two slot positions on the wide side of the field with the Stamps, but he's not going to be picky about where he plays.

In fact, he's been told to be ready to play anywhere.

"I'm going to start watching some film, and as the weeks get closer to the season I'll be getting more and more in touch with the coaches and kind of figure out where they want me to play and what not, but I'm going to try to be ready for everything," Arthur said.

"I'm just ready to get an opportunity, and I'll go wherever they want to put me -- they can put me at left tackle -- as long as I get a chance to play and contribute."


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