Patriots

Doubront's new approach helps him earn W

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Doubront's new approach helps him earn W

FORT MYERS, Fla. Last season wasnt an easy one for left-hander Felix Doubront. Although he made 11 big league appearances with no decisions and a 6.10 ERA, he battled injuries for almost the whole year, including spring training, and spent most of the season with Triple-A Pawtucket.

"A lot better," Doubront said of how he feels now compared to a year ago. "My off-season was the most important to me. I worked hard to get rid of the injuries from the past. I worked more on my legs and shoulder. I feel a lot different, my body feels probably more light and less pressure on my arm, and my legs are strong now."

Doubront earned the win, as the Red Sox beat Boston College, 6-3, completing a sweep of Saturdays doubleheader. He went two scoreless innings, allowing a hit with a strikeout.

"It seemed like he had his legs underneath him and threw all his pitches really well," said manager Bobby Valentine. "It seems like he's probably a little ahead of the other pitchers with his command and stuff right now. He's actually looked that way since he's been here."

Doubront has been working with pitching coach Bob McClure on a change to his delivery, making him land more on the front of his foot.

"My delivery today was awesome," he said. "I worked hard in my bullpens. I feel normal. The first time with the new delivery was a little bit hard to me because it was something I didn't do it before. So, tonight I feel like it's pretty good, my delivery and when I released the ball. I feel good."

Doubront, a contender for the rotation, said he feels confident in his abilities, and wants to prove it to Valentine.

"I got a lot of confidence," he said. "And I feel pretty much ready to be in Boston and a starter with the team. That's what I worked on to show the manager, that I want to be there."

Patriots-Falcons practice report: No changes for Pats

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Patriots-Falcons practice report: No changes for Pats

Thursday's practice participation/injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Falcons game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
CB Stephon Gilmore (concussion/ankle)
LB Harvey Langi (back)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
RB Rex Burkhead (ribs)
WR Chris Hogan (ribs)
G Shaq Mason (shoulder)

ATLANTA FALCONS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
LB Jordan Tripp

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
OLB Vic Beasley Jr. (hamstring)
K Matt Bryant (back)
LB Jermaine Grace (hamstring)
LB Deion Jones (quadricep)
DE Takk McKinley (shoulder)
LB Duke Riley (knee)
WR Mohamed Sanu (hamstring)
DL Courtney Upshaw (ankle/knee)

Agent doesn't expect Gordon Hayward to return this season, but foresees full recovery

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Agent doesn't expect Gordon Hayward to return this season, but foresees full recovery

PHILADELPHIA --  Only hours removed from surgery to repair a dislocated left ankle and fractured fibia injury, Gordon Hayward’s agent tells NBC Sports Boston that his client is already attacking the rehab process.
 
“We expect him to have a full recovery,” agent Mark Bartelstein said via phone Thursday.
 
That said, Bartelstein also noted that it’s unlikely that the 6-foot-8 forward will return to action this season.
 
“We don’t have a timetable or anything like that for him,” Bartelstein said. “It’s about getting better, healthier every day.”
 
The Celtics released a statement Thursday afternoon indicating Hayward underwent successful “bony and ligamentous stabilization surgery for the fracture dislocation of his left ankle.”
 
Performing the surgery was Drs. Mark Slovenkai and Brian McKeon at New England Baptist Hospital, with Dr. Anthony Schena assisting followed by consultations with Dr. David Porter of Methodist Sports Medicine in Indianapolis.
 
Hayward suffered the injury in the first quarter of Boston’s 102-99 loss at Cleveland on Tuesday when he was attempting to catch a lob pass from Kyrie Irving.
 
On the play, Hayward landed awkwardly on his ankle, which contorted in a way where it was clear immediately that he would be out of action for a significant amount of time.
 
Since the injury, Hayward has received an amazing amount of outpouring of well-wishes and prayers from Kobe Bryant, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski and a cast of other current and former athletes. Both Edelman and Gronkowski know all too well about the challenges associated with returning to play after an injury.
 
"Go into rehab just like you go into anything else: dominate it," Gronkowski said. "Come back when you feel ready. Come back when you’re 100 percent. He wouldn’t be where he is now if he wasn’t a hard worker.”
 
And then there are the Celtics fans, whose support has been impressive.
 
Hayward delivered a pre-recorded message to the fans at the TD Garden that was aired on the Jumbotron high above half court prior to Wednesday night’s game against Milwaukee. Even after the video ended, there was no escaping Hayward’s presence was still very much in the building and on the minds of fans.
 
At one point in the 108-100 Celtics loss on Wednesday, Boston fans began a “Gor-don Hay-ward!” chant that soon swept its way throughout the TD Garden.
 
“It has been a bit overwhelming the amount of support that Gordon has received,” Bartelstein said. “It touched him in so many ways. The outpouring he got, certainly all the fans in the arena last night, from players around the league … it meant the world to him. And obviously, going through something like this, it’s devastating. So, to see so many reach out to him, it means the world to him and his family; there’s no doubt about it.”