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Bombers lose Douglas for rest of season but linebacker Bowman looks healthy

07/30/2012 03:43 EDT | Updated 09/29/2012 05:12 EDT
WINNIPEG - First the good news from the overflowing hospital tent of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Linebacker Marcellus Bowman could be back in the lineup for the first time this season when Winnipeg meets the Montreal Alouettes this Friday.

That's when the Bombers (1-4) will try for just their second win of 2012 when they host the Alouettes (2-3).

Bowman was practising again Monday after recovering from a hamstring injury.

"I feel good," he said after a solid workout, including a hit just to make sure he was game ready.

"I feel fresh out here. I tested it pretty good today ... No pain or anything like that so I'm ready to go."

Coach Paul LaPolice was a little more cautious, although he would very much like to have Bowman, now in his third season, back on the field.

"The guy's got more experience, he's a talented player," said the coach.

"We've just got to get the rust out of him but it will be good to have him flying around if he's ready."

Bowman is just 25 but at six-foot-three and around 230 pounds, he finished last season with 50 defensive tackles and four sacks.

With Bowman out of the picture, 2011 Canadian draft pick Henoc Muamba has been seeing a lot more action.

With the good often comes the bad however, and the not-so-good news Monday was that the CFL club will be without offensive lineman Andre Douglas for the rest of the season.

Douglas has been out with an injured ankle and now LaPolice says he will need surgery, which means he won't return in 2012.

"He had a flare-up on his ankle and he's got a piece that keeps moving back and forth and it's going to have to be surgically repaired so he will be done for the year."

The plan at the start of the season had been to have Douglas and Glenn January anchor the o-line at left and right tackle to give some young Canadian talent time to mature.

That hasn't worked out so well. Last year's draft pick Paul Swiston has been seeing a lot of action on the line but this year's pick, Tyson Pencer, is already on the nine-game injured list, where Douglas was placed Monday.

If Bowman comes back that still leaves a dozen Bombers on either the regular or nine-game injured list.

That includes starting quarterback Buck Pierce.

While he didn't take part in a full practice, he was out Monday throwing some footballs and putting a lot of pressure on his injured foot.

"He wants to be able to throw," said the coach.

"We don't want this to be a recurring thing. We'll do our due diligence to make sure that's healthy."

Alex Brink has taken over in Pierce's absence and is 1-1 in his two starts.

The Bombers are still riding a bit of a high after last Thursday's win.

A determined effort in the second half, a screaming packed house at Canad Inns Stadium and just a little bit of luck helped them edge the Edmonton Eskimos 23-22.

LaPolice says he has emphasized to the team just how important a win over the Alouettes would be at this point, as the Bombers try to climb out of the East Division cellar.

"The biggest message is 'You win this game and you're tied with them'."

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