Sox star headed for Tommy John surgery?

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Sox star headed for Tommy John surgery?

From Comcast SportsNet
NEW YORK (AP) -- Carl Crawford appears to be headed for season-ending surgery on his left elbow. The Boston Red Sox said Sunday they planned to meet and decide the following day whether the left fielder will have Tommy John surgery. Citing an anonymous source, ESPN reported hours later that Crawford is expected to have the operation Tuesday. Crawford has been playing with pain since coming off the disabled list last month. He has said he's been told he will need Tommy John surgery at some point to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm. "Carl's given it everything he has. From everything I gather, the elbow situation is kind of trending in the wrong way," manager Bobby Valentine said Sunday night after a 4-1 loss to the New York Yankees. Crawford went 1 for 4 with a ninth-inning single, perhaps his final at-bat of the year. The Red Sox are off Monday. "We'll take that time to talk with Carl and the doctors and kind of get to the bottom of this entire situation," Valentine said before the game. Asked if the discussion would be about whether Crawford needs surgery at all or simply when he should have it, general manager Ben Cherington said: "A little of both." If he has the ligament-replacement surgery, it's estimated Crawford could return to the lineup six to nine months later. The fourth-place Red Sox are 59-63, leaving them 13 12 games behind the first-place Yankees in the AL East and 7 12 out in the wild-card race. "We'll focus the decision more on what's best for Carl," Cherington said. "What gives him the best chance to be the player that we know he can be for the longest period of time. "We've known surgery is a possibility if the symptoms didn't go away," the first-year GM added. "These conversations have been going on for months now. We know what the issue is." Crawford was a major disappointment last season, his first with Boston after signing a 142 million, seven-year contract. He missed the first 89 games of this season while recovering from left wrist surgery. He partially tore his elbow ligament in April while rehabbing, slowing his return. Crawford was activated from the disabled list July 16 and is batting .282 with three homers and 19 RBIs. He has 10 doubles and 13 extra-base hits in August. "He's played a lot and he's got a real injury," Cherington said. "He's played well. To his credit, he's played through this for the team." Crawford batted second and played left field Sunday night against Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda. "He's probably undergoing surgery, right? It's not good. But you've got to do what you've got to do to be ready next year," injured teammate David Ortiz said. "You've got to take care of yourself. If you are injured, you're injured. Nobody gets Tommy John (surgery) because it's fun. Tommy John (surgery) is a tough process and he needs one because he needs one. If I'm him, I would do exactly what he's doing, taking care of it." NOTES: RHP John Lackey, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, threw 45 pitches in the bullpen. "I was very impressed with what I saw," said Valentine, who did not rule out the possibility of Lackey pitching in the majors this season. Cherington said he fully expects Lackey will pitch in a "competitive environment" before the season ends, but that doesn't necessarily mean a big league game. ... Cherington said demoted RHP Daniel Bard will be back in the big leagues this year and the team will talk in the offseason about whether he should be used as a starter or reliever going forward. ... Minor league pitcher Brian Johnson was released from the hospital and Cherington said the left-hander was doing well after he was hit in the face with a line drive Saturday during the Future Games at Fenway Park. Johnson, a first-round draft pick in June, sustained multiple orbital bone fractures on the left side of his face, but there were no signs of a concussion.

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Andrew Shaw suspended for boarding Capitals prospect Connor Hobbs

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USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Shaw suspended for boarding Capitals prospect Connor Hobbs

Montreal’s Andrew Shaw has been suspended three preseason games for boarding Washington’s Connor Hobbs on Tuesday night.

On the play, Shaw delivered a hard body check to Hobbs’ back, driving the Capitals prospect face-first into the end boards. It appeared that Shaw was angry about being slew-footed by Jay Beagle earlier on the same shift.

In the explanation video from NHL Department of Player Safety, director Patrick Burke said it was a dangerous hit that never should have been made.

RELATED: Was that the Capitals' opening night roster?

“It is important to note that Hobbs is never eligible to be checked by Shaw on this play,” Burke said. “From the moment Shaw arrives at the faceoff dot, he sees nothing but Hobbs' numbers. Hobbs makes no sudden movement just prior to contact that turns this hit from a legal hit into an illegal one.”

Burke added: “The onus is on Shaw to make sure he can deliver this hit in a legal fashion, minimize the force or avoid this hit completely. Instead, he hits forcefully through Hobbs from behind, driving him dangerously into the glass.”

Burke also noted the fact that Hobbs escaped injury and Shaw’s one previous suspension as factors in his ruling.

Shaw was assessed a total of 30 minutes in penalties (five for boarding, five for fighting, a 10-minute misconduct and a 10-minute game misconduct) for the hit and ensuing fight with Nathan Walker, who immediately confronted the noted agitator. 

Capitals associate coach Todd Reirden said before the suspension was handed down that it was exactly the type of hit the NHL is trying to eliminate.

“It’s a dangerous, dangerous play,” Reirden said. “Obviously, they are trying to take that type of stuff out of the game. The league will deal with it accordingly. Luckily, Connor seems to be fine and everything checked out so he was able to return to the game. Which is really good because he’s a real high prospect for us here moving forward.”

MORE CAPITALS: Samsonov to stay in KHL until 2018

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Duke Ihenacho: Obviously I want to be playing but it's the coach's decision

Duke Ihenacho: Obviously I want to be playing but it's the coach's decision

When Duke Ihenacho landed on the Redskins inactive report Week 1 against Pittsburgh, many around the league were surprised. That surprise waned as the season progressed. Weeks 2 and 3 Ihenacho was active, yet hardly played. 

Now injuries to DeAngelo Hall and Bashaud Breeland are forcing the Redskins to shake up their secondary, though it remains unclear if that means more defensive snaps for Ihenacho. Asked if Hall's torn ACL means Ihenacho will hit the field more on defense, Redskins coach Jay Gruden sounded non-commital.

"Could be," the coach said. "We're gonna dress four safeties most likely and they'll all probably get an opportunity."

MORE REDSKINS: NO HEALTH CONCERNS FOR DAVID BRUTON

The Redskins will start Will Blackmon and David Bruton at free and strong safety, leaving Ihenacho third on the depth chart and Deshazor Everett fourth. This week in practice, Ihenacho said his workload has increased, albeit slightly.

"I'm getting a little bit more reps at practice," Ihenacho said. "I'm really backing up both the guys. I know both positions."

For the bulk of his career, Ihenacho has dealt with injuries. In five seasons, he only has 15 starts, though his lone healthy season came in Denver in 2013. That Broncos team made it to the Super Bowl with Ihenacho at strong safety, and the five-year veteran out of San Jose State produced. In 14 starts that year, he logged 67 tackles to go with nine passes defensed and three forced fumbles.

Ihenacho has not stayed healthy in his two seasons in Washington, but he is healthy now. Asked why he isn't seeing the field more, the safety was unsure.

"Obviously I want to be out there but I'm not a coach so I just kinda got to deal with the cards that are dealt," he said. "Obviously I want to be out there, I'd like to be out there, I feel I should have been out there."

While Hall was healthy, the Redskins began to substitute Blackmon in for Bruton on longer third downs against the Giants, a nod to Blackmon's coverage skills. With Hall injured, that substitution pattern did not continue. Some fans and media have questioned if there is an issue or injury causing Ihenacho to stay on the bench.

"None of that. I haven't had any off the field issues, haven't had any injury issues. I know the defense, it's not a matter of me not knowing the playbook or anything like that. It's not a matter of me being inexperienced. It's not a matter of the coaches not trusting me."

Like any player, it's natural for Ihenacho to want to be on the field, but he understands what his role is for now.

"I feel like this is a situation where [the coaches] got guys they want to play. That's just what it is. Sometimes it's just as simple as that. They got other guys they just want to give shots to, and that's cool. Obviously I want to be out there but that's part of being a professional, understanding that and just waiting for your time."

Despite not seeing much action on defense, Ihenacho made his presence felt in the win against the Giants. On a long Jamison Crowder punt return, Ihenacho laid out two New York defenders with one block.

"The opportunity presented itself," he said. "I looped back around and I saw Crowder break a lot of tackles and make a couple guys miss. He brought it back around and my eyes kind of lit up when I hit the first guy and then at the last second I see the second guy and I just threw my body into him and it kinda just worked out."

When the team watched the game film, Ihenacho said the whole room had the same reaction to his block.

"It's like 'oooooooooh.' It was cool."