All posts by phnseo

Dwight Howard likely to need surgery to help gluteal injury

Washington Wizards center Dwight Howard will likely need a surgical procedure in order to provide relief from a lingering gluteal injury that has sidelined him throughout the early parts of this season, according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Howard, 32, has appeared in just nine games for the Wizards on the season after signing a two-year, $11 million deal with the organization in free agency over the summer. Washington has gone 4-5 in the games that Howard has played.

The report also stated surgery came from the recommendation from a nerve specialist in Los Angeles area Thursday, but Howard may seek out another opinion before making a final decision. The recommended procedure would cause him to miss a large portion of the regular season.

According to Wojnarowski, a nerve specialist recommended Howard undergo surgery, but Howard could seek a second opinion before he decides his next step. Were he to have the procedure, Howard could miss a large chunk of the season, per Wojnarowski.

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Howard has proved durable throughout his career, appearing in fewer than 71 games only once (in non-lockout-shortened seasons) during his first 14 years in the league. That includes his 81 games with the Charlotte Hornets last season.

The eight-time All-Star missed the start of the 2018-19 season, and just nine games into his return to the court, he once again found himself sidelined by a piriformis injury.

Previously, Howard’s only major injuries had been of the shoulder (2012-13) and knee (2014-15) varieties.

When Howard has been on the court, he has been productive. He is averaging 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds in 25.6 minutes per game. Those may be a long way from his career averages (17.4 points and 12.6 rebounds), but they are still respectable totals.

Howard’s injury means Washington will have to rely on Ian Mahinmi and Thomas Bryant down low. But as long as John Wall and Bradley Beal are playing, the Wizards will have a chance to be competitive.

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Cowboys end Saints’ 10-game winning streak

Dak Prescott desperately scrambled for a first down in a game of fourth-quarter keepaway, then took three knees starting from the New Orleans 1 to run out the clock by the narrowest possible margin.

Anything to keep Drew Brees and the NFL’s highest-scoring offense on the sideline.

Ezekiel Elliott scored the only Dallas touchdown on a 16-yard screen pass and the Cowboys stifled Brees and the Saints, ending New Orleans’ 10-game winning streak with a 13-10 victory Thursday night.

The Cowboys (7-5) won their fourth consecutive game and assured they will at least remain tied for the NFC East lead.

The Saints (10-2) were shut out in the first half, had their fewest points in three years and finished with a season-low 176 yards. They missed a chance to perfectly match Dallas from two years ago, when then-rookie sensations Elliott and Prescott won 11 straight after dropping the opener.

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“Everybody knew it. We had to keep the ball away from Brees,” Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. “We needed to play this kind of game. I must tell you, the defense played beyond my expectations. They played like a championship defense.”

Brees had his fewest yards passing in a first half since joining the Saints in 2006 with 39, and couldn’t get a potential winning drive going in the final minutes.

The Cowboys spent the fourth quarter trying to protect their three-point lead, with Prescott breaking several tackles on an 11-yard scramble on third-and-10 and Cole Beasley catching a third-down pass and diving for 5 yards on third-and-5.

But Prescott fumbled on his season-high seventh sack with Dallas in position for at least a field goal, giving Brees another chance from his 15 with more than two minutes remaining.

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Bucks to waive Jodie Meeks

The Milwaukee Bucks are waiving guard Jodie Meeks, league sources told ESPN.

Meeks’ league-mandated suspension for violating the NBA/NBPA anti-drug program ends Saturday night. Waiving him keeps Milwaukee’s roster at 15 players.

Meeks will have served the final 19 games of his original 25-game suspension since the Bucks acquired him in a trade with Washington in October.

The Bucks acquired Meeks’ $2.8 million salary for a future second-round pick and $1.5 million in cash. For the Bucks, the value of the Meeks deal was essentially buying a pick for $1.3 million.

The Bucks selected the University of Kentucky product in the second round of the 2009 NBA draft. The 31-year-old has also made stops with the Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic and the Wiz.

Meeks has insisted that he never knowingly ingested any substances that would’ve been considered performance enhancing. Meeks, 31, was suspended before the 2017-18 playoffs; the Wizards lost their first-round series in six games.

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He’s averaged 9.3 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists while shooting 41.8 percent from the floor, including 37.2 percent from three-point range, across 531 regular-season games.

Meeks would have faced a difficult road to consistent playing time behind Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon, Donte DiVincenzo, Tony Snell and Pat Connaughton in the Bucks rotation.

He’ll likely use the free-agent market to find a team where he can play a more important role on, assuming he clears waivers in the coming days.

Teams that need shooting could contact Jodie Meeks and his camp. The guard shoots 37.2 percent from beyond the arc for his career. Meeks once scored 42 points in a game with the Lakers during the 2013-14 season. The most points he scored last year with the Wizards was 23.

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Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen to resume workouts after heart procedure

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen told MLB Network on Wednesday that “everything went fantastic” during his 5 1/2-hour heart procedure on Monday.

For the second time in his big league career, Jansen required a catheter ablation performed by Dr. Koonlawee Nademanee to correct a defect that triggered an irregular heartbeat.

Jansen, 31, suffered an atrial fibrillation episode in August in Denver as a result of the condition. He skipped a return trip against the Rockies in September after the cardiologist advised he would be at “high risk” of another incident.

Jansen said his doctor couldn’t promise that he’s 100 percent cured, but both are confident the problem is “fixed.”

“They find the problem and put my heart back to normal,” Jansen said. “Now it’s recovery time. A little chest tightness and pain inside, but feeling much better.

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“The doctor explained, ‘Nothing is guaranteed in life.’ But he tells me the percentage is higher that it won’t happen [anymore]. At least 90 percent this won’t ever happen again in my life. I’m an athlete, I still have to go to Colorado; those things make it so you can’t be 100 percent it won’t ever happen. But he believes this won’t happen anymore. It was good to go in, find the problem and fix it.”

Jansen will resume workouts on Monday. He will be on blood thinners for the next two months, but he is expected to be ready for the start of Spring Training.

Jansen said he was sick and dehydrated the day he suffered his latest episode in Denver in August, and must be diligent about his fluid intake, especially at altitude.

After missing time in August, Jansen allowed seven runs in four innings in his first four appearances off the disabled list, but he settled in to post a 2.70 ERA in his final 14 regular-season appearances (13 1/3 innings). He pitched 6 2/3 scoreless frames in the National League Division Series and NL Championship Series, but he gave up two home runs and blew both of his save opportunities against the Red Sox in the World Series.

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Jim Riggleman hired as Mets Bench coach

Jim Riggleman, a 66-year-old veteran of 13 seasons as a major league manager, has been hired by the New York Mets as bench coach for Mickey Callaway.

Riggleman was Cincinnati’s bench coach from 2016 until he became interim manager for 5½ months last season, and he led the Reds to a 64-80 record after the team’s 3-15 start under Bryan Price. David Bell was hired by the Reds on Oct. 21.

Riggleman, a native of Fort Dix, New Jersey, also managed the Chicago Cubs (1995-99), Seattle (2008) and Washington (2009-11). He has a 726-904 (.445) record as a big league manager.

He replaces Gary DiSarcina, who is shifting to third base coach in a move announced earlier this month. Glen Sherlock moves from third to first and Ruben Amaro Jr. shifts from first to front officer adviser.

New York, which announced the hiring Monday, went 77-85 in Callaway’s first season as a manager, and Callaway drew scrutiny for his game management.

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In a 2-1, 10-inning loss at Cincinnati on May 9, Asdrubal Cabrera and Wilmer Flores batted out of order because the handwritten lineup card given to umpires was different than a computer-printed version posted in the Mets dugout.

On July 9, Callaway brought in left-hander Jerry Blevins against Philadelphia before lefty-hitting Odubel Herrera was announced as a pinch hitter, allowing Phillies manager Gabe Kapler to bat righty-hitting Jesmuel Valentin without wasting a player. Callaway insisted that was the matchup he wanted.

New York also claimed outfielder-first baseman Jordan Patterson off waivers from Colorado, which designated him for assignment last week. The 26-year-old was 8 for 18 (.444) with the Rockies this year and hit .271 with 23 doubles, 26 homers and 76 RBIs at Triple-A Albuquerque of the Pacific Coast League.

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Pirates’ Chris Archer has hernia surgery, out at least six weeks

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Chris Archer underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a bilateral hernia, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

With a recovery time of about six weeks, Archer should be healthy by the start of spring training, though the procedure could limit his offseason training.

The right-hander spent time on the disabled list with an abdominal injury in June but has been otherwise durable throughout his career. His 27 starts in 2018 marked the first time he failed to make at least 32 starts since becoming a full-time player in 2014.

He is one of the best pitchers on the Pirates staff. He has two All-Star selections and posted a 4.07 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 249 strikeouts in 201 innings in 2017, the third straight year he eclipsed the 200-inning mark.

The 30-year-old followed it up with a 4.31 ERA and 1.38 WHIP with the Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays in 2018, plus 162 strikeouts in 148.1 innings.

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Pittsburgh has enough pieces in its starting rotation to remain afloat without Archer if needed, with Ivan Nova, Jameson Taillon and Trevor Williams leading the way. But the Pirates surely hope Archer will be back on the mound by the start of the season.

Next season is the final guaranteed year in Archer’s contract, which includes affordable club options for 2020 and ’21. He is expected to work atop Pittsburgh’s rotation with Jameson Taillon, Trevor Williams, Joe Musgrove and Ivan Nova.

Like Archer, Musgrove is expected to be on schedule for the start of Spring Training after a recent surgical procedure. Musgrove had surgery on Oct. 19 to repair his abdominal wall and help heal a stress reaction on the front of his pelvic bone.

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Broncos TE Jeff Heuerman out for season

Broncos tight end Jeff Heuerman will be placed on injured reserve after breaking rips and bruising a lung against the Steelers on Sunday.

Heuerman (6-5, 255 pounds) was enjoying a career year before his injury. Through 12 games of the season, the fourth-year tight end had posted career highs in receptions (31) receiving yards (281) and touchdowns (two).

Heuerman was selected by Denver in the third round of the 2015 NFL draft out of Ohio State. He has battled through numerous injuries since then. By the end of this season, Heuerman will have missed 27 of the Broncos’ 64 regular season games from 2015-2018.

Heuerman owns 49 career receptions for 564 yards and four touchdowns. He is scheduled to become a free agent next offseason.

Heuerman is the third tight end the Broncos have lost this season. Jake Butt (knee) was injured in a special teams practice in September and rookie Troy Fumagalli has missed all season with a sports hernia.

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“Heuerman’s a big loss,” coach Vance Joseph said. “We’ve lost three guys in that room so far with Butt and Fumagalli and now Jeff. He was having a great year. He’s a great leader for that room. So, he’ll be missed.”

The Broncos will now rely more on fourth-year pro Matt LaCosse, who scored his first career touchdown Sunday.

The other tight end on the roster is Brian Parker, although fellow third-year pro Temarrick Hemingway might get called up from the practice squad.

Barrett’s injury means more snaps for former first-round pick Shane Ray and former second-round pick DeMarcus Walker to back up starters Von Miller and Bradley Chubb.

“We’ve got some options there,” Joseph said. “But obviously Shaq’s playing some good football. He played, in my opinion, the best yesterday out of all the rushers. So, he’s going to be missed. On special teams, also.”

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Jack Doyle out for rest of season

Doyle is expected to land on injured reserve after suffering an undisclosed injury during Sunday’s 27-24 win over the Dolphins, Stephen Holder of The Athletic reports.

Colts head coach Frank Reich made the announcement on Monday. Reich said Doyle was taken to the hospital after Sunday’s game where he remains hospitalized but is expected to be released soon.

Reich said Doyle suffered the injury during the second half of Sunday’s game. He will be placed on the injured reserve, ending his season.

Doyle has played in six games during the 2018 season and has had 245 yards and two touchdowns.

He was injured early in the season and was out five games. His best game of the season was on October 28 at Oakland in the Colts’ 42-28 win. He had 70 yards and one touchdown during that game.

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Doyle was born and raised in Indianapolis and graduated from Cathedral High School. He played college football at Western Kentucky and has played his entire 6 seasons in the NFL with the Colts. This is the first season he has missed significant games.

Kidney injuries are not new to the Colts. Andrew Luck suffered a lacerated Kidney during the 2015 season and had to miss the final seven games.

“Obviously when you start talking about having a kidney injury you don’t like the sound of that,” Reich said. “But can’t emphasize enough the prognosis is good. I’m sure whatever degree it was, it’ll work itself out over time. But it is a physical game, there’s no getting around it. Every player knows that part of the risk. I put it in context that there are a lot of other jobs out there in the world that are dangerous. … Certainly this injury was unfortunate for Jack, but he’ll be fine.”

Reich said he hopes at have at least one of the injured tight ends back for Sunday’s game at Jacksonville.

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Fernando Alonso farewell to F1

Fernando Alonso said farewell to Formula One Sunday as his former teammate and new five-time champion Lewis Hamilton claimed his 11th victory of the season at an eventful Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Alonso, driving his 311th and final F1 race, finished just out of the points in the uncompetitive McLaren after driving with his usual skill and determination.

“Champ, what a career, thank you, thank you, let’s go out and win the triple crown,” he was told by team boss Zak Brown, reference to Alonso’s future bid to add the Indy 500 to his two F1 championships and Le Mans 24-hour race victory.

Hamilton, who paired with Alonso at McLaren at the start of his career in 2007, took a comfortable win from pole position to cap his title winning campaign in style.

Sebastian Vettel, so long a challenger to Hamilton this season, finished second for Ferrari with in-form Max Verstappen completing the podium for Red Bull.

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Alonso, who finished 11th in his final race, did a few donuts for the fans at the Yas Marina Circuit. He was joined by Hamilton and Vettel for the donuts and his final lap.

“It’s been a pleasure racing with these champions,” said Alonso. “Thanks to everyone and to Formula One, I will always be a fan of this sport,” added the Spaniard.

5-time champions Lewis Hamilton said, “Fernando is a true legend. It’s been a privilege to race when he is racing. I was asked all weekend if I will miss him. I don’t feel I will miss another driver, but the sport will miss him and I will miss him from the sport.”

“Well done to Fernando, we will miss him,” Vettel added.

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Chargers Melvin Gordon with MCL injury on right Knee

Chargers running back Melvin Gordon reportedly suffered an MCL injury against the Cardinals on Sunday, according to ESPN’s Eric Williams.

Additionally, Williams reports that Gordon will undergo further evaluation Monday, but there is “real possibility” Los Angeles’s starting tailback does not play next week against the Steelers.

Gordon rushed 10 times for 61 yards and two touchdowns prior to exiting Sunday’s contest. Justin Jackson (seven carries, 57 yards) and Austin Ekeler (five carries, 35 yards, one touchdown) manned the Chargers’ backfield in Gordon’s absence.

Coach Anthony Lynn provided as much information as he possibly could after the game. Starting with the fact that his knee is “sore.”

“Hopefully what happened isn’t serious. I don’t know the extent of the injury right now. But if he has to miss some time — he’s a starting running back in this league. To have him for 14, 15 games is pretty good,” Lynn said, per OC Register’s Ryan Kartje.

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Gordon has battled hamstring issues since he was forced to miss a Week 7 win over the Titans, but Lynn said Sunday’s knee injury occurred to the opposite leg.

Gordon has had his best campaign yet and he’s in his final year of his rookie contract. He has amassed 802 yards and nine touchdowns this season after rushing for 61 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries Sunday.

It would be a huge blow if Gordon has to miss a significant amount of time. Running backs Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome would then make up the unit in the backfield.

On Monday morning, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Gordon was diagnosed with a grade 2 MCL sprain after undergoing an MRI Sunday night, according to a source. Gordon is expected to be out the next few weeks, but could be back before the end of the regular season if all goes well.

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