All posts by phnseo

Manchester United’s Pogba aggravates ankle injury

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is reportedly a doubt for the team’s clash with AZ Alkmaar in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday. 

Pogba was also a doubt for Monday’s showdown with Arsenal in the Premier League, although the Frenchman played the full 90 minutes. According to Rob Dawson of ESPN FC, during that match the 26-year-old aggravated an ankle issue.

“Pogba complained of pain in his ankle following the 1-1 stalemate at Old Trafford on Monday night and is set to be assessed by medical staff on Tuesday before Solskjaer finalises his squad for the trip to the Netherlands. Sources have told ESPN FC that Pogba may be saved for the Premier League meeting with Newcastle at St. James’ Park on Sunday.”

After picking up the ankle issue against Southampton on August 31, Pogba sat out the next three matches for United.  According to Dawson, Pogba “played through the pain” in the Carabao Cup success against Rochdale—United advanced on penalties after a 1-1 draw—and the most recent clash with Arsenal.

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In both of the recent matches, Pogba hasn’t performed to his best, with the dynamism and ingenuity that he’s renowned for absent.

While there is still disagreement when it comes to Pogba and what he can offer, United don’t have another player capable of offering what he does.

Although Scott McTominay has enjoyed a strong start to the season, he lacks the creative spark that the Frenchman has at his best.

When afforded freedom, Pogba can break a game open with a lung-busting run and an incisive pass. In addition, he’s capable of scoring goals from distance and making surges into the penalty area to cause problems for opposition defences. What he lacks is consistency. There are spells in matches where Pogba ambles through the game and he is susceptible to giving the ball away cheaply in dangerous areas.

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QB Mitchell Trubisky has dislocated left shoulder and slight labrum tear, but no need for surgery

The former second-overall pick was knocked out of the Chicago Bears fight with the rival Minnesota Vikings in Week 4 with what’s being described as a shoulder injury, and one that could cause him to miss time.

Trubisky struggled in the first two games to begin the season but found a groove against the Washington Redskins in Week 3, and although he declared it wasn’t a “breakthrough” for him and the offense — it was a stride in the right direction. He wouldn’t have much of a chance to build on that performance with the Vikings in town, though, and might not when the Bears travel to London to face the Oakland Raiders, either.

It is doubtful Trubisky will step on the field

With more tests having now been run, it’s doubtful he’ll step on the field across the pond, and has now been reportedly diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder and slightly torn labrum — per Adam Schefter of ESPN — but the good news is no surgery is required that would threaten the remainder of his season.

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In his stead, backup Chase Daniel played admirably and threw for 195 yards on 22 for 30 passing, along with a touchdown and no interceptions.

The Bears went on to defeat the Vikings to the tune of 16-6 in a game that was yet another display of just how dominant the Chicago defense truly is, and despite being short-handed.

If it turns out Trubisky does miss the outing against the Raiders, the Bears enjoy a bye thereafter that would allow additional rest and recovery for the 25-year-old, with a potential to return for Week 7 against the New Orleans Saints. In a weird twist of fate, Trubisky also suffered a shoulder injury against the very same Vikings in Week 11 of the 2018 season, and was sidelined for two games because of it.

The Bears went 1-1 in his absence, and will now lean on Daniel to carry the offense.

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Hamilton wins Russian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton was handed victory in the Russian Grand Prix after a virtual safety car cost Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc the lead.

Hamilton’s first win in four grands prix inched him closer to a sixth world title and came after Ferrari’s chances of victory fell apart following a controversy over Leclerc’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel disobeying team orders.

Ferrari’s pre-race plan was for Leclerc to tow Vettel down into the first corner to remove the risk of Hamilton, starting second, taking the lead.

Leclerc played his side of the bargain, but once Vettel was in the lead, he refused a demand to let his team-mate back past him. After a series of conversations over the radio, Ferrari decided to do the swap later and Leclerc recovered first place when he was pitted four laps earlier and allowed to benefit from fresher tyres.

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But Vettel’s engine developed a problem in its hybrid system on his first lap out of the pits and when he was told to park the car, that led to the virtual safety car being deployed.

It was bad timing for Ferrari, because it meant Hamilton, who had been promoted into the lead by Ferrari’s pit stops, could stop under the VSC and lose far less time than under racing conditions, allowing him to keep the lead.

Leclerc then lost second place as well when George Russell crashed with an apparent braking problem just as the VSC was ending, bringing out the safety car.

Ferrari decided to pit Leclerc again to swap his medium tyres for softs, the same as the Mercedes drivers, and that dropped him to third behind Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Try as he might, Leclerc could not quite get close enough to attack Bottas, and Mercedes were able to deliver their first one-two since the British Grand Prix back in mid-July. Hamilton scored an extra point for fastest lap and his championship lead is now at 73 points. Mathematically, he cannot win the title at the next race in Japan – but he could well do it the race after that in Mexico.

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Patriots, Chiefs still unbeaten in NFL week 4

Reigning Super Bowl champion New England and the Kansas City Chiefs managed narrow road triumphs in battles between NFL unbeatens on Sunday to remain perfect through four games this season.

Tom Brady threw for only 150 yards but New England intercepted four passes, two by J.C. Jackson, and Matthew Slater returned a blocked punt 11 yards for a touchdown in a 16-10 Patriots victory at Buffalo.

“To go on the road and beat a team that’s 3-0 is pretty good,” Brady said.

“We can certainly play better than we did. We’ve got to get in the red area (at or inside the opponent’s 20-yard line). We missed some opportunities there. We’ll go out and try and do a better job next week.”

Patrick Mahomes drove the Chiefs 79 yards in 13 plays and Darrel Williams made his second 1-yard touchdown run of the fourth quarter with 20 seconds remaining to give Kansas City a 34-30 triumph at Detroit.

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Mahomes completed 24-of-42 passes for 315 yards but went without a touchdown pass for only the fourth time in his career while Detroit’s Matthew Stafford completed 21-of-34 passes for 291 yards and three touchdowns in a losing cause.

“They found a way to take away some of the stuff we like to do,” Mahomes said. “They hadn’t lost a game for a reason.”

The Chiefs and Patriots became the first NFL teams to reach 4-0 while the Bills fell to 3-1 and Detroit slid to 2-1-1.

Also falling from the unbeaten ranks were the Los Angeles Rams, who lost to visiting Tampa Bay 55-40, and the Dallas Cowboys, who lost 12-10 at New Orleans. Jameis Winston completed 28-of-41 passes for 385 yards and four touchdowns for the Buccaneers in the victory while the Rams’ Jared Goff hit 45-of-68 throws for 517 yards and two touchdowns with three costly interceptions in the loss.

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Kyrgios gets 16 weeks’ probation by ATP Tour

Nick Kyrgios has been handed a suspended ban of 16 weeks and an additional fine of $25,000 for “aggravated behavior” following an investigation by the ATP.

The 24-year-old Australian, one of the most combustible characters in tennis, was fined $113,000 over a meltdown in Cincinnati last month and courted more trouble with the governing body of men’s tennis at the US Open describing it as corrupt.

In a statement, the ATP said: “The investigation found a pattern of behavior related to Kyrgios’s verbal abuse of officials and/or spectators in the past 12 months that constitutes a violation.” It added the player had five working days to appeal. The fine and suspension are deferred pending Kyrgios’s compliance with a set of conditions which will apply at ATP and Challenger Tour events during a six-month probationary period.

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Some of the conditions include no further code violations that result in a fine for verbal or physical abuse of officials, fans or any others on court or on site and unsportsmanlike conduct and any obscenity directed at officials. He was also told to seek “continued support” from a mental coach during tournaments and to consult a professional specializing in behavioral management in the off-season.

“Everyone, I can still play,” wrote Kyrgios on social media. “I just have to keep a lid on my behavior, that’s all.”

Kyrgios, who has won titles in Acapulco and Washington this year, had picked up the initial fine for unsportsmanlike conduct, verbal abuse and an audible obscenity in Cincinnati after arguing with the chair umpire and smashing two rackets during his second-round defeat by Russia’s Karen Khachanov.

He confirmed on Thursday before the ATP’s statement that he would miss events in Beijing and Shanghai after aggravating a shoulder injury he originally suffered at the Laver Cup.

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LB Irvin to make season debut for Panthers

Just a week removed from one of the best pass-rushing performances in franchise history, the defensive front that produced six sacks of eight total sacks against Arizona is getting a boost.

Head coach Ron Rivera announced on Thursday that defensive end Bruce Irvin will make his Panthers debut on Sunday against the Texans.

Irvin missed the first three games of the season after suffering a hamstring injury during preseason practice.

“Having watched him today in practice, I feel very comfortable with having him out there,” Rivera said. “He’ll play on Sunday, so pretty excited about that. He had a good day and it was a lot of fun to watch, it really was.”

Last week against the Cardinals, the Panthers were without longtime defensive tackle Kawann Short, who was sidelined with a shoulder injury. As a result, rookies along the defensive front, like edge rushers Brian Burns and Christian Miller, stepped into the spotlight, as well as veteran defensive end Mario Addison. But as impressive as the young guys have been, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said there’s just something different about lining up next to an eight-year veteran.

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“He’s a vet,” McCoy said of Irvin. “His mind, just overall, his experience. The young guys have been doing great, but it’ll be great to have another vet out there that’s put in his time in the league. It’ll help out a lot, big time.”

It’s not just the big guys up front who are ready to have Irvin back. Linebacker Luke Kuechly said he’s excited to see the veteran return.

“Bruce has been waiting to come back, he’s worked real hard to get back,” Kuechly said. “When you bring a guy like that in who’s got great energy, I think guys are excited to have him back. He brings energy, brings some speed off the edge. He’s a real physical player and I think he’s going to do a really good job for us.”

Rivera said he expects the unit to take a few plays to get used to having a new player in the mix, but once the defense does adjust, Irvin’s presence will benefit everyone.

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Nets’ Irving suffers facial fracture in pickup game

Brooklyn Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving suffered a left-side facial fracture after being elbowed in the face during a workout at the team’s practice facility, the team announced Wednesday.

Brooklyn sent Irving to the hospital for further evaluation Tuesday after he was injured during a pickup game. League sources told the New York Daily News that Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson accompanied him to the hospital following the injury.

The Nets signed Irving in July after two seasons with the Boston Celtics.

He had to wear a protective mask during games to protect a previous facial fracture, including early in the 2017-18 campaign after he was elbowed by former teammate Aron Baynes.

The good news for the Nets is that the injury doesn’t seem too serious, and Irving shouldn’t miss any significant period of time. Still, you never want your best player dealing with a broken face a few days before training camp is about to begin. That’s not a good way to get the season started. 

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However, even if Irving has to miss a few days of practice, the signing is already paying dividends for the team. During a press conference on Tuesday, which was already scheduled before the incident, Nets GM Sean Marks praised Irving’s professionalism and commitment to the team, saying the “leadership, the work ethic and the competitive nature that he has brought to the group has been terrific.”

The Nets will start training camp on Sept. 28, a few days earlier than most teams due to their preseason trip to China. They’ll be playing two preseason games against the Los Angeles Lakers in Shanghai and Shenzhen on Oct. 10 and 12. Assuming no further complications, Irving should be ready to go for those contests.

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Brady, limited in practice again, says age a factor

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been limited in three of the last four drills and cited his age as part of the reason why.

“Football is a contact sport. I wouldn’t” I say I’m a spring chicken anymore, 42-year-old Brady said with a smile Wednesday. “I’m just trying to feel as good as I can and we’ll see how it goes tomorrow. But I’m feeling pretty good.”

There is little doubt that Brady will play Sunday against the Buffalo Bills in a highly anticipated matchup of 3-0 teams. But his limited practice load seems to be part of “roster management” head coach Bill Belichick, who is referred to the team signing free-agent quarterback Cody Kessler on Wednesday.

With Brady limited to practice twice last week, the only other quarterback on the watch list was rookie Jarrett Stidham. Having Stidham handle the regular offense, besides the scout team, was a heavy burden.

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Brady was one of 10 restricted players in practice Wednesday

A group that included receiver Julian Edelman, who injured his ribs in Sunday’s win over the New York Jets. X-rays were negative, but Edelman seems to be dealing with remarkable pain after being landed by 300-pound defensive lineman Henry Anderson.

“He’s as tough as they come,” Brady said. “He’s going to do everything he can to get ready to go. When he’s not out, it definitely becomes apparent to all of us. Hopefully he can do it. If he can’t, the other guys have to fill in and do the best job they can do. You just have to prepare for both. “

Sunday’s game features the NFL’s two most difficult teams, as the Patriots have allowed an average of 5.7 points per game in wins over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins and Jets, which is a combined 0-9.

The Bills have allowed an average of 15.7 points per game in wins over the Jets, New York Giants and Cincinnati Bengals, which is a combined 1-8.

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Wizards’ Brown out for a month with hurt calf

When players report early to build chemistry with their teammates ahead of training camp, it is usually a good thing. For the Wizards this summer, it has led to an unfortunate string of bad injury luck.

First Isaiah Thomas tore a ligament in his left thumb, on his shooting hand, and required surgery that will keep him out of all of the preseason and likely the start of the regular season as well. Now, as the Wizards announced on Tuesday, Troy Brown Jr. is dealing with a left calf strain. His timeline is four weeks.

That will put the start of the regular season in jeopardy for Brown as well.

The news broke four weeks and one day before the Wizards’ first game, on Oct. 23 at the Dallas Mavericks. These injuries are on top of forward C.J. Miles’ foot surgery in July. He was at a Mystics’ playoff game last week still in a walking boot, which is not a great sign for his availability in training camp, which begins Tuesday. When he had the surgery on July 25, the Wizards said he would be re-evaluated in six weeks. It has now been two months.

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Thomas, Brown, and Miles are three rotation players. The Wizards are also missing John Wall, who remains sidelined as he rehabs from a ruptured Achilles. The injuries are piling up and they haven’t even held their media day.

Brown’s injury is extra pertinent because he figures to be in the same position mix as Miles. If you are filling out a starting lineup for the Wizards, those are probably your two best choices at small forward. And the Wizards don’t exactly have a lot of depth behind them.

Up next could be Justin Anderson, who is a roster-fringe journeyman at this point. Second-round pick Admiral Schofield is probably not ready for important minutes. First-round pick Rui Hachimura seems more suited to play the four. And Jordan McRae seems to be a better fit at guard.

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Brewers look to wrap up playoff berth vs. Reds

The Milwaukee Brewers aim to punch their ticket to the postseason for the second straight year on Wednesday when they play the second contest of a three-game series against the host Cincinnati Reds.

Milwaukee (87-70) posted its fifth straight win and 16th in 18 outings with a 4-2 victory over Cincinnati (73-84) on Tuesday. The Brewers moved five games ahead of the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets for the final wild-card spot in the National League.

A Milwaukee win on Wednesday or losses by Chicago (versus Pittsburgh) and New York (against Miami) would clinch a playoff berth for the Brewers, although manager Craig Counsell admitted he has an eye on the NL Central title as well. The Brewers reside 2 1/2 games behind the first-place St. Louis Cardinals, who fell 3-2 in a 19-inning marathon at Arizona on Tuesday.

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“I think we’re scoreboard-watching now, and we’re seeing what goes on in those other games,” Counsell said. “We’ll see what goes on in Pittsburgh and see what goes on in Arizona, too.”

Another stellar September has paved the way for Milwaukee, which rode a sizzling final month of the season in 2018 all the way to within one win of a World Series appearance.

“They’ve recognized what’s at stake,” Counsell said. “I think the common theme in both cases is we were chasing something, and that’s lent some urgency to everything we’ve done. And I think our players have responded really well to that sense of urgency.”

The Reds are dealing with a number of illnesses, with infielder Freddy Galvis, utility man Josh VanMeter and right-handers Michael Lorenzen, Robert Stephenson and Keury Mella under the weather. “I think mine was just like a cold,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said after he fell ill last month. “I don’t think I had it as bad as those guys.”

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