Back in Edge lineup after injuries, Carl English has eyes on nothing less than championship

The hometown face of the St. John's Edge says it's been tough being sidelined by injuries for the last couple of weeks, but says he's ready to hit the court again.

English was off for several games after suffering broken nose, fractured teeth

Carl English will return to the St. John's Edge lineup this week after being sidelined with facial injuries. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

The hometown face of the St. John's Edge says it's been tough being sidelined by injuries for the last couple of weeks but he's ready to hit the court again.

Carl English missed the team's last home game and most recent road trip after he got hit in the face, resulting in a broken nose and fractured teeth.

Now that he's healed up and ready to go again, the Placentia Bay native says he's eager to get out and be the face of the organization and play for a hometown crowd that's still getting used to having its own professional basketball team.

"It's hard for me to sit out at home, especially since there's a lot of people following me and want to watch me play," he told CBC News. "So I feel really bad when I can't step on the court."

Carl English and a member of the Edge coaching staff at a team practice Sunday. (CBC)

Even without English on the roster, the Edge won three of their last four games, so he's hoping the team can build on that momentum and put on a good show for the St. John's crowd when the next homestand gets underway Friday.

English, who's been playing international basketball for more than 15 years, said despite the potential to make more money overseas he knew coming home to play guard for the Edge was the right thing. His wife and kids are also happy with the move, he said.

Championship dreams

The Edge recently made some big trades, and with English back on the court this week he said the team has its sights on nothing less than bagging the National Basketball League of Canada championship trophy.

"Our main goal, and mine from the beginning, was to bring a championship here," he said.

"I've been a proud Newfoundlander my whole life, so it means so much to me to make this successful."

More than 4,000 spectators fill Mile One Centre for St. John's Edge games. (St. John's Edge)

With more than 4,000 packing Mile One Centre every night the Edge play, English said it's good to see the locals coming out to support the team.

He knew there was always a lot of potential for professional basketball in the province, and said the team's involvement with community outreach has likely helped draw people into the stands.

Even though it takes a lot of time and commitment to visit sick kids in the hospital or make appearances at local events, English said he and his teammates are having a blast doing it.

"The surprising thing they tell me is how much love and how much admiration they're feeling within the community," he said. 

"I feel the Newfoundland people are really supporting them and I think they understand how much we're trying to grow it here as well. So it's a mutual respect and personally I can speak for them, they're loving it."

With files from Jeremy Eaton