Giants' Posey progressing with rehab process


Giants' Posey progressing with rehab process

Sep. 2, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Buster Posey points to a pair of regular sneakers at the foot of his locker. Those shoes signify serious progress for San Francisco's injured star.

The reigning NL Rookie of the Year catcher no longer needs a scooter, crutch or walking boot to make his way around AT&T Park. He considers himself on target to return from a devastating leg injury by the start of spring training next year.

"I'm walking around in a tennis shoe, feeling good. I think we're right on track," Posey said Friday. "Keep going. Be ready to go hopefully next spring."

Posey is gaining strength in his leg every day and is set to begin catching bullpens and hitting next month at instructional league in Arizona.

He said he will return to Arizona in a couple of weeks to continue his extensive rehab.

"It's increasing every workout, so it's just the progression of it. More and more all the time," Posey said of the intensity of working out his legs. "It's nice to have some sore muscles in my legs again."

The new father of nearly 3-week-old twins went down for the season after tearing three ligaments in his left ankle and fracturing a bone in his lower leg in a frightening home-plate collision with Florida's Scott Cousins on May 25.

"Buster's in a good frame of mind," manager Bruce Bochy said before the opener of a key weekend series with the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks. "He's enjoying walking around with no crutch and being able to do some rehab stuff. Hopefully in a month he will catch some bullpens in instructional ball."

For now, Posey is plenty busy with baby duty while he works to get himself back in baseball form.

He and his wife, Kristen, welcomed daughter Addison and son Lee on Aug. 14. Being a sleep-deprived, first-time dad with constant responsibilities at home has helped him cope with not being on the field for the struggling Giants.

Posey is arguably this team's best player - and he had so looked forward to his first full season in the big leagues batting cleanup for the reigning World Series champions.

Losing him was a huge blow for San Francisco's psyche - and Posey's.

"I don't think there's any question about it. Looking forward to the birth of my children and then them being here has definitely helped with the process of not being able to play," Posey said. "Of course it puts everything in perspective, too. Just trying to catch up on sleep now. We had a long night last night."

The Giants miss Posey's presence behind the plate and in the middle of the batting order.

He wasn't even called up from Triple-A Fresno until late May last year, then batted .305 with 18 home runs and 67 RBIs in 108 games while playing catcher and some first base.

Posey hit eight of his homers after Sept. 1 and helped the Giants capture their first NL West crown since 2003.

This is the player San Francisco gave 6.2 million when he signed in August 2008, the richest deal ever for a Giants amateur.

Posey was the fifth overall draft pick that year out of Florida State and San Francisco's highest selection since Jason Grilli went fourth in 1997. The last time the Giants drafted a position player who became an All-Star for them was in 1986, when they picked Matt Williams third overall.

The Giants realized all along Posey had star potential - All-Star, they hope - after the '08 Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year led the NCAA in batting average (.472), on-base percentage (.572) and slugging percentage (.908) in his final college season. He also led Florida State with six saves and did not give up an earned run in eight appearances.

Posey even played all nine defensive positions in one game and hit a grand slam.

Now, everybody will be curious to see if he can return to the dominant player he was before that terrible day in May. For now, the Giants are encouraged - though rehabs often have their setbacks.

"Nobody's trying to get too far ahead," said Bobby Evans, Giants vice president of baseball operations. "It's a significant injury and only time will tell how it will feel in the heat of battle."

Kings adamantly disagree with perplexing foul call at end of loss to Rockets

Kings adamantly disagree with perplexing foul call at end of loss to Rockets

SACRAMENTO -- Every time the Houston Rockets tried to pull away, the Sacramento Kings answered Wednesday night in the team’s home opener. It was a heavyweight contender throwing body blows at a 100-to-1 underdog riding a huge home crowd advantage.

And then the ref called the fight.

With the Kings trailing 98-95 with 26 seconds remaining, the Rockets attempted to inbounds the ball and George Hill made a play. From the video replay, it appeared that the ball tipped off the fingertips of Houston's Eric Gordon and the nearest official called Kings ball.

Hill and teammate Garrett Temple celebrated the turnover and the sold out crowd went crazy.

The play went under review and not only was the call overturned, but Hill was assessed a personal foul. Gordon went to the line and hit two freebies to give the Rockets a 100-95 lead and effectively ended Sacramento’s chances.

In the confusion of the moment, it turns out that an official on the opposite side of the court called a personal foul and the replay wasn’t to check on possession, but to determine which Kings player would be assessed a personal foul.  

The Kings can’t call shenanigans on the officials, the league has stiff penalties for that. But they seemed just as confused as everyone else in the building when asked about the call during postgame interviews.

“I could have swore that the refs pointed out of bounds, our ball, but they said they called a foul, so it is, what it is,” Hill said following the game.

Hill avoided digging himself a hole with the league and a potential fine as reporters tried to dig deeper. 

Head coach Dave Joerger gave an account of what the officials said following the call, but he too seemed perplexed by the play.

“That was a foul,” Joerger said of what the officials told him on the sidelines. “I adamantly disagreed. They said they called it at the time, which I didn’t see. So that was more my argument than whether it was a foul or not.”

Sacramento continued to compete in the final seconds, but they were forced to foul intentionally down the stretch and the Rockets were able to hold them at bay to come away with the 105-100 victory.

Report: Gordon Hayward 'unlikely to return' this season


Report: Gordon Hayward 'unlikely to return' this season

Despite the severity of Gordon Hayward's injury, there was a small bit of hope that he might be able to return this season.

It appears that won't happen.

Hayward underwent surgery Wednesday night and is "unlikely to return this season," his agent Mark Bartelstein told ESPN.

"We expect him to make a full recovery and return to his All-Star form," Bartelstein told ESPN.

The Celtics' prized offseason acquisition suffered the terrifying ankle injury just five minutes into his Boston debut on Tuesday night. He was diagnosed with a dislocated left ankle and broken tibia.

After playing in Cleveland on Tuesday, the Celtics returned to Boston for their home opener on Wednesday against the Bucks. Prior to the game, a 30-second video message from Hayward to the fans was played in the arena.

“What’s up, everybody? Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who’s had me in their thoughts and prayers,” Hayward said. “I’m going to be all right. It’s hurting me that I can’t be there for the home opener. I want nothing more than to be with my teammates and walk out on that floor tonight. But I’ll be supporting you guys from here, and wishing you the best of luck. Kill it tonight.”