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Pourdanesh will return against Pirates Saturday Top offensive lineman has missed four games


Baltimore Stallions tackle Shar Pourdanesh, who missed the past four games with stress fractures in both ankles, will start against the Shreveport Pirates Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.

Pourdanesh, the CFL's Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman last year, practiced for the first time since leaving the Memphis game Aug. 19 with injured ankles. He stayed after practice to take contact drills, and said he felt "a little rusty."

"Now I've got something to prove and I have had to refocus," Pourdanesh said. "Before this, I just had to go out and play. But now I have to show that I can still dominate."

Sidelined from practice drills, Pourdanesh took out his frustrations in the weight room.

"I believe something good comes out of everything, even bad things," said Pourdanesh, who stands 6 feet 6 and weighs close to 300 pounds. "And coming out of this injury is 10 pounds of muscle."

Stop the run

As the Stallions face Shreveport for the second straight week, one of the top priorities is to stop the Pirates' running attack.

Shreveport rushed for 197 yards, which is the most against the Stallions' defense this season, including touchdown runs of 28 and 38 yards in the fourth quarter.

"They made some good blocking adjustments and started to crease us," Stallions linebacker O. J. Brigance said. "It's a challenge now. The defense always hopes for a perfect game, but it gives us something to shoot for. Giving up that many yards rushing is very uncharacteristic of us, and we'll make adjustments.

Injury update

Linebackers Matt Goodwin (hamstring) and Reggie Givens (knee), and wide receiver Shannon Culver (neck) all missed practice yesterday and are questionable for Saturday's game.

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