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> For The B.c. Lions. Literally. But Years Of Bending, Some
postare Jun 3 2019, 06:05 AM
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SURREY, B.C. -- Angus Reid has always been willing to bend over backwards -- and forwards -- for the B.C. Lions. Literally. But years of bending, sometimes awkwardly, will prevent the veteran centre from suiting up Friday in his teams CFL season opener in Calgary against the Stampeders. Reid is suffering from a jammed sacroiliac, or SI, joint and a torn ligament in his lower back. His return date is uncertain. "Its from doing what Ive done a long time in my life -- being in that squat position and taking pounding," said Reid, 36, who has spent his entire 13-year CFL career with the Lions. "Its a shocking thing that it hasnt happened to me earlier in my career." Reid has played in all of the Lions regular-season and playoff games over the past three years. He has only missed two games -- in 2009 -- since his rookie season in 2001, when he played just four games with Montreal and B.C. The Richmond, B.C., native, who has endured numerous injuries while often playing in pain, practised Wednesday, but agreed with the coaching staffs decision to give his aching back a chance to heal. "Its a long season," said Reid, who missed most of training camp and B.C.s two pre-season games. "I dont think anyone wants to risk putting (me) out there too early and risk doing more damage." As a result, second-year pro Matt Norman, who was to be groomed slowly as Reids eventual replacement, will start much sooner than expected. "It speeds up the process," said Reid. "I came into the season fully wanting to make the transition happen, and here we are doing it. Im not sitting here saying Im not going to play football anymore. Ill be back at some point this season. I dont know when." Norman, a guard in a 2012 rookie season who was split between the CFL and his teaching studies at the University of Western Ontario, only started to learn the craft of hiking the ball shortly before training camp. Reid, coach Mike Benevides and quarterback Travis Lulay all say Norman has been a quick student while learning the difficult task of calling plays for the offensive linemen while also snapping the ball during the two pre-season games. "Theres a lot of data," said Benevides. "Theres a lot of information. Physically, hes done an outstanding job. Cerebrally, its getting better for him because he gets to see the (defensive) looks now that he gets to concentrate on the opponent." Norman says his most difficult task has been learning the playbook. "Im just trying to get really comfortable with it -- out of the practice, outside of the game -- and then try to execute as well as I can when I step out on to the field," said the 25-year-old, who will also snap on field goals. But he will not be the only young Lions player in a vital role due to injury against the Stampeders, who upset favoured B.C. in last years West Division final. Veteran kicker Paul McCallum remains sidelined with a groin injury suffered in warmup before the final pre-season game. As a result, Hugh ONeill will finally get to kick in a CFL regular-season game after serving as McCallums understudy for the past two years. "Its awesome -- Im definitely looking forward to it," said ONeill. "Its been a long time coming. Im just looking forward to helping the team out as best I can. The last little while, its been in practice. Hopefully, now, I can do it in a game." Benevides and general manager Wally Buono planned to have McCallum, 43, and ONeill, 23, share the kicking duties this season. Depending on the length of his hiatus, McCallum, who is in his 21st CFL season, will focus on field goals while his protege takes care of kick-offs. Punting duties have yet to be finalized. ONeill is keen to handle all three duties against the Stampeders. "Ive always viewed myself as an all-around kicker/punter," he said. "I try and make myself as proficient as possible in all three facets. Pre-season was great, because I got the chance to do all three for both games." In the first exhibition contest, when McCallum was rested, ONeill went 5-for-5 and booted the winning field goal in poor weather conditions in Calgary. He did not attempt any three-pointers in a loss to Edmonton in the second pre-season game. The Lions might also have to do without another key veteran on defence. Middle linebacker Solomon Elimimians status is questionable due to an ankle injury. If he cant go, Anton McKenzie will take his place in the lineup. "Were going to see what kind of team weve got right away," said Benevides. "Were just going to challenge our depth, but I feel very good about that. I think thats where one of the strengths of our club lies." Shane Doan Jersey . The weekend at Oriole Park has been less kind, with three players suffering varying degrees of injury. The worst ailment of the three, at least optically, is the deep bone bruise suffered by Adam Lind when he fouled a pitch off the top of his right foot in the sixth inning of Saturdays game. Jason Demers Jersey . Osmond, of Marystown, N.L., fell in the middle of her routine and placed fifth in the ladies free skate at Iceberg Skating Palace (110.73 points), but that was all the Canadians needed after a strong performance by Kevin Reynolds in the mens free earlier Sunday. . on the 15-day disabled Monday list because of a strained right hamstring. Keith Tkachuk Jersey . Called on from the college ranks to replace Andy Reid, Kelly implemented a whole new atmosphere in the City of Brotherly Love and now has the Eagles in the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Wayne Gretzky Jersey . Sociedad remained in sixth place with Villarreal a point behind in seventh, both in Europa League spots and in striking distance of fourth place and the final Champions League berth. Sociedad forward Carlos Vela chipped goalkeeper Jaime Jimenez after receiving an equally exquisite lobbed pass from Ruben Pardo to set him up in the 23rd minute at Anoeta Stadium.LISBON, Portugal -- Substitute Lima scored six minutes from the end to give Benfica a 2-1 win over Juventus in the Europa League first-leg semifinals on Thursday. Benfica will take a slender advantage over the Serie A leader to next weeks return leg in Turin. Lima received a pass inside the area and fired into the top corner, restoring Benficas lead after Carlos Tevezs 72nd-minute equalizer. Central defender Ezequiel Garay put Benfica ahead in the second minute with a header from a corner which Gianluigi Buffon, diving low to his left, reached with both hands but couldnt keep out. Sevilla beat Valencia 2-0 in the other all-Spanish semifinal. Juventus is pursuing its first continental trophy in 17 years. The once dominant Turin club is making its first appearance in the final four of a European competition since finishing runner-up in the 2003 Champions League. This years final will be at its home stadium. "Our victory doesnt decide anything, its still wide open, but at least we go to Turin with a lead," Benfica coach Jorge Jesus said. Portuguese champion Benfica, which lost in the Europa League final to Chelsea last year and is unbeaten in its last 122 European home games, produced a spell of early pressure, and Miralem Sulejmani was poised to extend the Lisbon clubs lead in the 11th but skewed his shot from the left.dddddddddddd Then Lazar Markovic let the ball roll too far when he was set up for a shot on the other flank. It was one-way traffic as Benfica attacked wide on the wings to stretch its visitors three-man backline, while Juventus was tame going forward. The home defence had the measure of Tevez and Mirko Vucinic, who didnt seriously threaten until Tevez broke through on the half hour but was closed down before he could shoot. Juventus came out more assertive for the second half, and Paul Pogbas 54th-minute header had Artur leaping to his right for an acrobatic save to prevent an equalizer. "Juventus is hard to stop. In the first half we managed to keep them at bay but in the second half they caused us difficulties as some of our players started to get tired," Jesus said. Brazilian striker Lima came on in the 62nd to revive Benficas fading challenge and soon made a difference. Marchisio and Giorgio Chiellini both squandered chances to level the score in the final minutes. 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