Cobourne coy on surgery
'I have enemies out there'
By Herb Zurkowsky
The Gazette, March 30, 2009
All Avon Cobourne will admit to at this point is undergoing surgery last Friday. And the procedure was performed in Montreal.
Although the Alouettes' starting tailback won't disclose the nature of the procedure, he emphatically stated the surgery won't prevent him from being ready for training camp on June 7.
"I have enemies out there," he told The Gazette late Friday. "Whatever it is, I haven't spoken to the right people to tell you. It was just something I needed to do, due to the wear and tear. And I wouldn't have done it unless it meant I'd be better off."
Translation: Cobourne didn't have permission from Als management to say anything more. Indeed, he was surprised The Gazette learned of the surgery.
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Despite playing only 12 regular-season games, Cobourne still rushed for a team-leading 950 yards and came third overall in the Canadian Football League. Had he not been hurt, Cobourne might have become the first player in league history to gain 1,000 yards in both rushing and receiving. He caught 66 passes for 616 yards.
Cobourne's Cinderella story is now well known. He had to wait until his third pro season before getting the opportunity from new head coach Marc Trestman to play regularly in the offensive backfield. Prior to that, Cobourne was limited to special teams play. He was even forced to try out at linebacker in 2007 by an ill-advised coaching staff to justify his spot on the roster.
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The job might be Cobourne's to lose at camp, but he won't go through it unchallenged. He's one of five tailbacks on the Als' roster, including Mike Imoh, Dahrran Diedrick along with Brandon Whitaker and Chris Jennings, both of whom practised with Montreal last season.
"It's do or die every play and practice," Cobourne said. "Someone will have to be that much better than me, and I don't feel there's anyone out there that is."
Over an 18-game season, Cobourne believes he's capable of rushing for 1,700 yards. At 5-foot-8 and 193 pounds, it might now be paramount for Cobourne, who has a year and an option remaining on his contract, to prove he can remain injury-free.
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7 years ago