A trainer holds the leg of Ottawa Redblacks quarterback Trevor Harris (7) after a collision, as head coach Rick Campbell heads onto the field, during pre-season CFL action against the Montreal Alouettes in Ottawa on Thursday, May 31, 2018. Harris has no doubt he’ll be ready for the Ottawa Redblacks season opener. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Injured Ottawa quarterback Harris says he’ll be ready for Redblacks’ opener

OTTAWA — Trevor Harris has no doubt he’ll be ready for the Ottawa Redblacks season opener.

The Redblacks starting quarterback spoke for the first time Monday since suffering a lower body injury in last Thursday’s pre-season game against the Montreal Alouettes that put his fitness in doubt for the June 21 game against visiting Saskatchewan.

Harris, who was celebrating his 33rd birthday on the day of the incident, looked in a great deal of pain when he was knocked down by Montreal linebacker Chris Ackie, and it’s unclear whether it was his knee or ankle or both that took the brunt of the impact.

Harris did not return to the game, but was later seen on the sidelines riding the exercise bike and walking without aid. He was on hand for both practices over the weekend, but is mostly standing around and keeping an eye on things and not taking any drills.

The Redblacks have only said it is a lower body injury and Harris didn’t offer any more insight on Monday.

“I’m just trying to say as little as I can I guess,” Harris said. “When something like that happens it’s your worst nightmare because you’re exposed in a certain way. I went down and started praying immediately and was like ‘let’s go get this thing looked at,’ and it ended up not being as bad as I initially thought, so thankful.”

Harris says he’s been doing treatment around the clock and is hopeful to be fully recovered by the opener.

“Hopefully we can get this thing as close to 100 per cent by Week 1, but I don’t anticipate there being any question if I can play Week 1 or not.”

The Redblacks play their final pre-season game Thursday in Guelph, Ont., against the Toronto Argonauts. While Harris would love to get a few more reps, he said the best thing at this point is to rest and listen to the medical staff.

“That’s always been the big thing for me is that training staff have had to protect me from myself a lot,” Harris said. “I think it’s a good thing that I’m really just hungry to get back out there as soon as possible and I’m trying to bug them to let me do more so they’re kind of holding me back at this point saying time’s on our side so just be smart with it.”

The Redblacks will likely be missing other veterans for the pre-season finale. At this point it appears offensive lineman Nolan MacMillan won’t be in the lineup as he recovers from an undisclosed lower body injury and wide receiver Brad Sinopoli is not expected to play.

Sinopoli is coming off right shoulder surgery and didn’t play in last week’s game.

“It hasn’t been determined yet,” head coach Rick Campbell said. “It’s looking full-go for the home opener so that’s our target date, especially with a guy that’s a little bit older like him. He’s doing well and we’re just going to make sure we’re smart about it, but as of right now I would say no, but we’re going to leave it for a couple more days to make that decision.”

Campbell wants to get a good look at some of the younger players Thursday before making a decision on the final roster.

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