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ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- From his catchy nickname to his sturdy performance on the field, Calvin Johnson often seems indestructible. So it was a bit startling when the star wide receiver was limited by injuries toward the end of last season, finally sitting out the finale after his Detroit Lions were eliminated from playoff contention. Johnson had surgery in the off-season on a knee and a finger, both of which caused problems for him in 2013. He still put up terrific numbers for the Lions, but he was held under 100 yards in the last three games he played and couldnt prevent the collapse that kept Detroit out of the post-season. On Tuesday, "Megatron" was out on the practice field, preparing for what he hopes will be a healthier, more successful season. "It feels great to be out here playing with the guys," Johnson said. "I missed a lot of practice time last year before games. You definitely feel like you need that practice time before a game, just to get on one accord with your quarterback." Johnson caught 84 passes for 1,492 yards last season -- great stats for almost any player, but his worst output in both categories since 2010. It was never entirely clear how much Johnsons knee was bothering him, but then-coach Jim Schwartz conceded in late December that the star receiver was nowhere near 100 per cent. "It was bad enough where I had to get it drained every week," Johnson said. "The finger, it was stuck at 90 degrees. Its good to have those things freed up." The Lions fired Schwartz and replaced him with Jim Caldwell in the off-season, meaning Detroit is implementing a new offence. Quarterback Matthew Stafford will be under pressure to limit the mistakes that plagued him last year -- and he should have an easier time if Johnson is back at full strength. Although Johnson missed only two games last season, he wasnt able to practice all that regularly. That time is valuable even for a veteran who will turn 29 in September. "You kind of lose your wind a little bit. You know the plays, but I feel that you have to go out there and practice to be able to play at your best," Johnson said. "Im a firm believer in that. I had experience in the offence, therefore I was able to go out there and still play, but Im a firm believer that being out there during the week definitely improves your performance on Sunday." With Nate Burleson no longer on the Lions, Johnson is now the elder statesmen of Detroit wide receivers, and hes always led by example. Its easier to do that, of course, when hes healthy enough to practice. "Its nice to have him back and working at full strength. Im so happy for him," centre Dominic Raiola said. "The guys so tough. Its hard to get him out of there. Hell play through anything. For him to be healthy right now and being out there with the team, thats big time." NOTES: Caldwell said injured CB Chris Houston has been excused from practice. Rookie WR T.J. Jones, the teams sixth-round draft pick, was also excused Tuesday. ... Caldwell joked a bit about his reputation for remaining even-keeled. "Theres no need for a whole lot of cussing, screaming, yelling and all that kind of stuff," Caldwell said. "Its a mini quiz out here. I never had any of my professors yelling in my ear when I was sitting at the desk filling out those multiple-choice questions." Dallas Stars Pro Shop . -- Brady Heslip scored a season-high 20 points to help Baylor beat No. Fake Stars Jerseys . (January 11, 2014) – Once again Kevin Martin proved why he is the all-time TSN skins leader, winning $11,500 in prize money and a spot in the Travelers All-Star Curling Skins Game presented by Pintys final following a semifinal victory over Brad Jacobs earlier this evening at the Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre in Banff, Alta. Stars Jerseys 2020 . -- Martin Kaymer never lost sight of opportunity even amid so much evidence of trouble in the closing stretch Sunday at The Players Championship. Cheap Stars Jerseys . It will then be back to business once the puck drops as the two clubs battle for key points in their respective playoff races. Watch the game live on TSN Canadiens and listen on TSN Radio 690 starting at 7:30pm et.MARKHAM, Ont. - Heartbreak has fuelled Canadas water polo teams for the better part of four years.Both the men and women narrowly missed out on playing in the 2012 London Olympics — the women by virtually the smallest of margins — and they havent forgotten.Its pretty much a constant thing, said mens goalie Robin Randall, who, at 34, has experienced the lows and highs of competing for Canada. Any time youre in a rut and you need to dig yourself of bed, and get in the car and go to practice, thats something you can think about. . . most of the time it adds to the fire thats already inside you.Canadas teams opened the UANA Cup on Wednesday night at the ATOS Markham Pan Am Centre, which is the water polo venue for this summers Pan American Games, and what the players hope will be the backdrop for a happier Olympic qualifying story.At the 2011 Pan Ams in Guadalajara, a gold medal would have meant an Olympic berth in London, but it wasnt to be for either team. The men lost 7-3 to the U.S. in their final. The womens loss was a more heartwrenching affair, an epic final that is believed to be one of the longest games ever. After ending regulation tied 8-8, followed by a scoreless overtime period, the U.S. edged Canada 19-18 in a penalty shootout for a 27-26 victory that left the Canadian women distraught on the pool deck.Its still motivation for me, said veteran Krystina Alogbo. It is hard, but all these moments bring that passion, that feeling that you still want it. We did come a hair short from qualifying, and its just that feeling of almost having it just gives you that extra feeling like you want it, you want to go get it.So looking back at small details (in the lloss), thats the little things that coaches will give us, details in practices and you try to not to let that happen ever again.ddddddddddddFor the men, a victory at the Pan Am Games, July 10-26, would put them into the Rio Olympics. Failing that, theyll have a second-chance qualifier.I think we definitely are more prepared than we were (in 2011) to do what will be required to get a gold medal at the Pan American Games, said Canadas captain Kevin Graham, who plays professionally in Hungary. So, yeah, losses are really disappointing but they can be learned from and used as motivation to get the job done the next time.The women have to travel a tougher route to win one of the eight Olympic spots through a one-shot qualifying tournament in the spring of 2016.Canadas men will play Argentina and Brazil in this weeks UANA Cup, which is the Americas qualifier for this years world championships and a test event for the Pan Am Games. The women will play only Brazil after Puerto Rico withdrew.Both both squads its a chance to get accustomed to the $78 million, 2,000-seat seat Pan Am facility just northeast of Toronto.I think its a bit of a psychological edge, Randall said of a hometown Pan Am Games. Everybody else has to travel, everything is pretty familiar to us, we have normal food that were used to, everybody speaks the same language as us, and fans are going to be cheering for us. It will be good.Canadas men finished 11th at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which was the teams first appearance at the Games in 24 years. The Canadian women were fifth at the 2000 Sydney Games, then seventh four years later in Athens. They didnt qualify for Beijing or London. ' ' '

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