Newest Bomber survived life-threatening blood clot before signing with hometown squad

Playing for the hometown team is a dream for many pro athletes, but the latest addition to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ roster came close to never playing again.Before signing with the Bombers on Saturday, Winnipegger DJ Lalama was working on a long recovery from a medical condition that threatened not only his football career, but also his life.Lalama told the CJOB Sports Show that while practicing with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes, he suffered an injury during an intra-squad game which led him down a scary path.Global NewsHelp us improve Globalnews.caGlobal NewsTake the survey now!Story continues below

READ MORE: Three players added to Winnipeg Blue Bombers roster“My shoulder popped out,” he said. “When it popped out, it basically tore everything around it, so right away I knew it was pretty severe. The doctor there told me my season was done.“It’s one of those funny things that happens in sports. You do it 100 times every day, and there’s just the one time it doesn’t want to work out for you.”Being sidelined due to the shoulder injury meant Lalama was much less active than usual, and that inactivity, he said, may have led to a dangerous blood clot.“I got diagnosed with an abnormality in terms of blood clot formations,” he said.“Basically, I’m more susceptible to forming blood clots, whether it be from inactivity, in planes, long car rides… so with my shoulder surgery and being immobile for a while there, a blood clot had formed.“By the time I had all the symptoms, it had reached my right lung, which for many reasons is pretty scary.”

Manitoba Bisons linebacker DJ Lalama

Manitoba Bisons linebacker DJ LalamaFileLalama’s blood clot was caught in time, and has resulted in him being much more cautious about his health, but the linebacker – a former standout with the University of Manitoba Bisons – said he’s thankful he survived and is ready to get back on the gridiron.READ MORE: Winnipeg Blue Bombers all-star Matthias Goossen calls it a career“Everything now is just bonus,” he said. “It’s just the gravy on top of it all.“Nine of 10 people with the symptoms I had probably aren’t making it, so now to play football – to do it for your city, for your hometown, to do it for a great organization, a great fanbase – it’s crazy.”“It was a dream come true putting pen to paper and being able to put on that jersey and wear that helmet in front of your family and friends. Nothing gets better than that.”WATCH: Bombers in ‘pretty good shape’ regardless of free agency outcomes