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TORONTO -- Four games into the MLS season, the Toronto FC training room is packed. And more worrying, it is filled with marquee talent. Toronto (3-1-0) could be without as many as five starters for Saturdays visit by the Colorado Rapids (2-1-1) including two designated players whose combined pay this season is close to US$13 million. Catch the game on TSN starting at 4pm et/1pm pt. England striker Jermain Defoe (hamstring) is out for the second straight week. American midfielder Michael Bradley missed another practice Friday, his body feeling the effects of games for both the U.S. and Toronto last week. "Were giving him every single chance ... well make a decision (Saturday)," manager Ryan Nelsen said of his teams midfield general. Centre back Doneil Henry (knee) will sit out a second straight game. Jonathan Osorio (hamstring) is "probably a no" for the third week in a row and fellow midfielder Alvaro Rey (hamstring) is "very very questionable." Because of injuries and suspensions, Toronto has only five players who have started every game so far: goalkeeper Julio Cesar, defenders Mark Bloom and Justin Morrow and midfielders Bradley and Rey. And that number could be down to three after this weekend. Defoe was sidelined by a hamstring injury at Spurs earlier this season. Nelsen has said the two injuries are not linked and repeated Friday that the England star was dealing with a mild strain. Hamstrings are tricky things, especially for elite soccer players. Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke, for example, ran 12.2 kilometres in Wednesdays Champions League semifinal against Barcelona. Toronto, which has used 19 players to date, has had to put the brakes on Defoe, who has wanted to resume training. Nelsen, however, sees a bigger picture. "The one thing that we dont want is obviously him coming back and getting re-injured. And so if we have to sacrifice an extra week, we have to sacrifice an extra week." Nelsen said the team has been reviewing everything at its disposal -- from heart rate to distance travelled in training -- to see if things could be done differently. The club is also learning the ins and outs of the bodies of new players like Defoe, he added. The TFC manager says there are no alarm bells about the current spate of injuries. A challenging opening to the schedule and the long winter that has kept practices until this week to artificial turf under a bubble at the team training centre havent helped. Most top soccer pros would rather gargle cod liver oil than set foot on artificial turf. Nelsen believes that this is just the kind of injury run that all clubs go through at some point. "It happens at Chelsea, it happens at Man City, it happens at every single club. Hopefully were just getting all of them done now." Said captain Steven Caldwell: "Its disappointing that weve got a few injuries but a lot of them are nobodys fault." In the case of Toronto, this is a squad that brought in at least seven new starters this season. Time has been needed on the training ground to get everyone on the same page. Youre damned if you, damned if you dont, Nelsen said of practice regimens. "Because if you pull them out of training and just rest them, then theyre not ready for the demands of a game. Were sitting with three wins because the guys are fit and organized. But we couldnt have done that if we had all wrapped them up in cotton wool." Bradley presents an interesting case in point. Rested this week, he is probably the exception to the rule that starters need to practise. If he doesnt start, speculation will grow that he is dealing with more than the variety of strains the club has pointed to. The good news is the injuries have not slowed Toronto down so far. Missing Defoe, Osorio, Henry and the suspended Caldwell last week, it still managed to topple previously unbeaten Columbus away from home. Also on the plus side, squad players like rookie defender Nick Hagglund and second-year midfielder Kyle Bekker have stepped up. And veteran Bradley Orr showed his moxie in smoothly shifting over to centre back. Nelsen says his reserves have stepped up to the challenge during the current injury glut. But he is not about to say debate over his teams depth is over. "I always got told that anybody can play one, two, three games at any level," he said. "But its the ability to spit them out week in, week out ... thats the mark of what a really good player is." Orr will likely partner Caldwell in central defence with Bekker deputizing for Osorio in midfield again. Dwayne De Rosario could start on the flank for Rey with Issey Nakajima-Farran who scored off the bench last week, possibly partnering Gilberto up front. Jeremy Hall may get the nod if Bradley cant go. The pitch at BMO Field, poor for the home opener thanks to the brutal winter, should be better Saturday although the players know it will take time to return to top condition. "Its not going to be ideal," said Caldwell, who returns from his one-game suspension. Colorado, under new head coach Pablo Mastroeni, has already defeated Portland and Vancouver this season and tied the New York Red Bulls. The lone loss was a 3-2 decision to defending champion Sporting Kansas City. "Theyve got a really nice team thats been around together as well for a bit," said Nelsen. "Theyre a team, for me, that has no real weaknesses. Theyre just a lovely, solid MLS team thats going to be very difficult." Spanish midfielder Jose Mari -- real name Jose Maria Martin Bejarano-Serrano -- introduced himself last week with two goals against Vancouver. The first, a swerving left-footed rocket, was judged the leagues goal of the week. David Wright Jersey . 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Bell Medias 12-year partnership with the Ottawa Senators includes five major components: - English-language regional television broadcast rights for TSN – a minimum of 52 regular season and pre-season games - French-language regional television broadcast rights for RDS – a minimum of 40 regular season and pre-season games - English-language broadcast rights for TSN Radio 1200 – all games - French-language radio broadcast rights – all games - Telecommunications and retail sponsorship and activation rights "We recognized early on that our regional broadcast rights coming up for renewal was a very important asset," said Senators owner Eugene Melnyk.CALGARY - The Calgary Stampeders have had enough bad news on the injury front lately that they welcomed any good news they could get.The return of receiver Marquay McDaniel after a six-game absence due to a broken hand provided players and coaches with a positive talking point after practice on Tuesday.Im very pleased about that situation, said Calgary coach and general manager John Hufnagel. I know hes excited about playing. Hes a big part of our offence when hes on the field. Hes probably our most complete receiver.After a disheartening 18-13 loss at home to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday, the Stamps (14-3) are looking forward to welcoming McDaniel back to the lineup for their road game against the B.C. Lions (9-8) in Vancouver on Friday night.I know Im excited to watch him play, said Stamps veteran linebacker Keon Raymond. Hes by far one of the best receivers in this league. For us to have a weapon like that going into this game and potentially for our West Final as well … Im excited.Not only did the Stamps lose the game to the Bombers, they also lost running back Jon Cornish and receiver Maurice Price to concussions as well as rookie receiver/kick returner Sederrik Cunningham to a sprained ankle.That makes the return of McDaniel off the six-game injured list even more important for the Stamps, who want to head into the post-season on a positive note.We want to be playing our best going into the playoffs, said McDaniel, whos eagerly anticipating his return to BC Place where he suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the final game of the regular season one year earlier. I actually feel blessed. My season could be over. You see guys with lower-body injuries. Its not my knee. Its not my foot. I think that would have hurt a little bit more, especially playing receiver trying to come back from it.The 30-year-old veteran of six CFL seasons, four of them with the Stamps, is hoping to make the most of his opportunity to get into game action leading up to Calgary hosting the CFLs West final at McMahon Stadium on Nov. 23.Last year, I missed the playoff game, so at least I get to come back before the playoffs, said McDaniel, who still leads the Stamps with 42 catches for 627 yards despite missing the past six games.dddddddddddd. Im just looking forward to Friday. Thats my main focus.McDaniel and his fellow receivers will catch passes from both of Calgarys quarterbacks, Drew Tate and Bo Levi Mitchell, on Friday against the Lions.Both Drew and Bo will play in the game, Hufnagel said. Were planning on starting Drew — get him a game where he has to prepare as the starter.After carrying the ball 11 times for 109 yards against Winnipeg, running back Matt Walter can expect to get just as much or more action against the Lions with Cornish out of the lineup.Coming off a loss, it doesnt feel that great, said Walter of his first career 100-yard rushing game. You always want to get the win and that didnt happen. It was nice that I was able to add some value where I could, but we still couldnt finish and we have to get better at that.Against the Lions, Walter will be looking to add to his totals of 77 carries for 453 yards and two touchdowns this season — all career highs.Were obviously going out for the win, he said. Whatever way they can use me, thats all I can ask for.Veteran receiver Nik Lewis, who had two catches for 26 yards against the Bombers, said the Stamps want to rebound with a much better performance against the Lions in their final game of the regular season.We played pretty bad offensively — fumbling the ball, not protecting it, not making plays when we needed to, said Lewis, while adding that the Stamps cant use the snowy conditions on Saturday as an excuse. Any time you go out and get 250 yards rushing and dont score more points, its not very good. We feel like we did a good job blocking, but weve just got to be better.You never know what the West final is going to hold. If it holds a game like that, we have to be better in that type of game.According to Raymond, the Stamps also have to bounce back with a much better defensive effort on Friday.I can pretty much speak for the whole defensive unit, we want to get better, Raymond said. We want to make sure we play better as a defensive unit — get better at the things that we do best and show that on game day. Thats our main focus right now so make we sure that we get better as a unit and be the best defence playing going into the playoffs. ' ' '

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