After setback, Crawford still aiming for opening day


After setback, Crawford still aiming for opening day

FORT MYERS, Fla -- Carl Crawford's setback with his left wrist, suffered earlier this week thanks to overwork, isn't a major concern -- for now.

Crawford was making progress from the surgery he underwent in January, but after taking full swings and following it with a day of bunting drills, Crawford experienced soreness and had to back off his activity.

He was given anti-inflammatory medication and restricted to one-handed swings off a tee.

"It was getting better, then I had a little setback,'' said Crawford. "Right now, I'm just kind of resting a little bit. You're always concerned when you have a little setback, but hopefully, it's just for a few days.''

Crawford's hope is that he's going to be cleared to return to two-hand swings "in the next couple of days.''

"I'm pretty sure what I've been doing in the course of a week -- swinging, then bunting and throwing -- probably didn't make it any better,'' said Crawford. "The bunting was the final thing that took it over the edge and we had to slow it down.''

He blamed himself for trying to do too much, too soon in his rehab effort.

"I was probably pushing it too much,'' he acknowledged. "I probably shouldn't have done as much as I was doing, but it was feeling so good at first that I wanted to keep going and going. Now I know what kind of pace I have to do things at and once the inflammation goes down, I have to not push it as much.''

Asked if being in the lineup for Opening Day was still a possibility, Crawford said: "That's what I'm trying for. That was a definitely a goal of mine, but we'll have to wait and see.''

Crawford said he didn't have any idea how many at-bats he would need in Grapefruit League play to be ready for the opener.

"I just think the more at-bats I can get before I have to actually start playing, (the better),'' he said. "In baseball, you have to get those reps.''

Manager Bobby Valentine, after checking with the training staff, reported Saturday morning that the swelling in Crawford's wrist was down, his range of motion was fine and progress was being made. He'll be cleared to return when "everything is perfect.''

Morning Skate: Golden Knights happy to get Malcolm Subban back


Morning Skate: Golden Knights happy to get Malcolm Subban back

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while watching old Super Friends episodes with my 4-year-old on a Saturday morning.

*Has anybody ever been as excited to get a healthy Malcolm Subban back in the lineup as the Vegas Golden Knights are this weekend? Pro Hockey Talk is asking the question, and I think I can honestly answer with a resounding “No.” We’ll see if he’s actually worth all the excitement, but obviously, he’s better than what the injury-plagued Golden Knights had in the interim.

*The Buffalo Sabres continue to get very little return for any of the investments they’ve made in the team over the last couple of years.

*Ryan Suter knows what it takes to remain among the NHL defenseman workhorses in the NHL, and he is consistently there year in and year out.

*Dustin Brown has been a resurgent performer for the Los Angeles Kings this season and is one of the big storylines behind their turnaround.

*The Detroit Red Wings are beginning to more openly adopt Jeff Blashill’s speed game, but the question is how much that will pay dividends for them.

*For something completely different: Good piece in the Boston Globe about Danny Ainge’s relationship with recently passed Red Sox great Bobby Doerr.


Kyrie goes back to the mask tonight

Kyrie goes back to the mask tonight

The mask will be back tonight in Atlanta for Kyrie Irving.

The Celtics guard told reporters at the team's shootaround Saturday in preparation for Saturday night's game against the Hawks - where Boston will try and win its 15th in a row - that he'll grudgingly go back to wearing the clear plastic facemask he had been using to protect a facial fracture he suffered last week. 

Irving wore the mask against Brooklyn for a full game earlier in the week then ditched it in the second half of the victory over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday. He shot just 4-for-16 from the field (1-for-5 on 3's) against the Warriors and has made no secret of his disdain for wearing it.