WINNIPEG - Could this Friday be the long-awaited debut of Henoc Muamba?
He sure hopes it is.
The first overall pick in this year's CFL draft has yet to play a regular-season game for the Bombers thanks to a knee injury sustained in the first pre-season game. The linebacker practised for two weeks before the bye and would love to play Friday against Hamilton.
"I'm feeling confident with myself, and the time off has definitely helped me. I feel ready," Muamba said.
The Bombers have never divulged exactly what Muamba's injury was, only saying it was more serious than a sprain and had the potential to be serious if he aggravated it. Muamba said he simply "jammed the outside" of his knee.
Regardless, the St. Francis-Xavier product is ready to roll, saying he is 100% healthy.
"I feel like it. We'll see day after day how it reacts after each practice, and hopefully I'll be ready to go for the Hamilton game," said Muamba, who spent part of his bye week in Vancouver, rubbing it in to his brother, B.C. defensive back Cauchy Muamba, that the Bombers had beaten the Lions last Saturday.
"Right now it's feeling good. Hopefully tomorrow it's going to be the same and the day after until game day."
Muamba has never endured a long-term injury in his career until this one, but he vowed the time off won't affect his game.
"It's been extremely tough, but I've been looking at the positive side of it, the opportunity that I have to be able to watch from the sideline and learn a lot and be in the meeting rooms and participating in everything and not missing a beat," he said.
Head coach Paul LaPolice has "no idea" if Muamba or first-round supplemental draft pick Kito Poblah will play against the Tiger-Cats. If Poblah does play, the Bombers would have to remove him from the nine-game injured list.
Muamba, on the other hand, has been on the one-game injured list since Week 1.