THERE'S still over a month to go before full training camp starts but already the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are missing a key starter to injury.
All-star Bombers slotback Terrence Edwards has what Bombers head coach Tim Burke would only refer to Wednesday as a lower body injury and will not be ready for the start of training camp.
Edwards was on the field at the Winnipeg Indoor Soccer Complex as the Bombers opened their three-day mini-camp and did not appear to have any obvious injury, but he did not take part in any drills and the Bombers communications staff refused to make him available for an interview.
The club did not disclose during the off-season that there was anything wrong with Edwards and Wednesday's revelation was the first the media had been told of it -- and not much even then.
"I'm not going to get into specifics in the off-season about an injury. During the season I got no problem with it, but I will just say that he has a lower body injury and he will be back during training camp."
Asked if Edwards' injury was recent, Burke replied: "It was something that was taken care of after the season."
Asked if that meant he had undergone off-season surgery, Burke reverted to his original answer that Edwards has a lower body injury.
Burke said he does not expect Edwards to be ready for the start of full training camp, but does expect him to join the team before the start of the regular season.
Offensive lineman Chris Greaves was also present Wednesday but did not practise. Burke said Greaves had a recent injury, but will be ready in time for the start of training camp.
Defensive back Alex Suber was absent entirely from mini-camp and Burke said Suber won't be participating this week. The team issued a roster to the couple of hundred fans who showed up to watch that had Suber's name listed among 36 players participating.
But Burke said that was the result of a miscommunication and he never expected Suber to participate.
Garrett ready, able
CHRIS GARRETT made his first appearance on the practice field since the Bombers starting tailback in their 2011 run to the Grey Cup game tore his Achilles tendon in last year's pre-season.
Garrett described a long a gruelling rehabilitation process to get back into shape that culminated last month when he got a tattoo of the cartoon character 'Underdog' on his arm.
"I feel I'm the underdog in every situation," explained Garrett.
Garrett will certainly be that this spring in the battle to be Winnipeg's starting tailback in 2013.
The Bombers loved what they got in Garrett's absence last season from former NFLer Chad Simpson, who ran for 1,039 yards in an injury-shortened 14-game season and earned East Division all-star honours.
Simpson isn't at mini-camp this week, but he will be at full training camp and will battle with Garrett and another import running back in Will Ford that the Bombers liked last year for the starting tailback position. Non-import running back Carl Volny will also be in that mix.