Preps Talk

Tony Romo's scary injury

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Tony Romo's scary injury

From Comcast SportsNet Tuesday, September 20, 2011

IRVING, Texas (AP) -- Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys are hurting after a gutsy but painful victory. Romo finished their 27-24 overtime win at San Francisco with a fractured rib and evidence of having a collapsed lung while helping the Cowboys avoid an 0-2 start. They may have also suffered some heavy losses before their home opener. Pro Bowl receiver Miles Austin reaggravated a hamstring injury after three touchdown catches Sunday, running back Felix Jones sustained a shoulder injury and starting center Phil Costa reinjured his right knee. While coach Jason Garrett refused Monday to be specific about the extent of the injuries, he is giving his team an extra day off this week. Part of the reason for that is to give players some extra time to heal before the home opener against Washington next Monday night. They will get their normal day off Tuesday, then won't practice the next day either. "We're also going to give them Wednesday off and try to catch up a little bit on the rehab and try to get some guys healthy," Garrett said. "The players will be in here lifting and doing their rehab and doing some work on their own for the Redskins game." Romo took a hit on the opening drive of the game. After leaving before halftime and getting treatment, he returned in the final minute of the third quarter. He threw for 201 yards in the fourth quarter and overtime, including a 77-yard completion to Jesse Holley on the Cowboys' first offensive snap in overtime to set up Dan Bailey's game-winning field goal. The fact that Romo returned to finish the 49ers game seems to be a good indication, especially with extra time off, that he should be able to play against Washington. "I would not think there's any reason to think he won't be able to play Monday," Garrett said. "We're certainly hopeful." Garrett said Romo did an outstanding job, which was "certainly challenging with a cracked rib." The coach didn't mention any other injury for the quarterback, but the team issued a statement later Monday night that additional testing of the rib had revealed evidence of a collapsed lung. The team said the condition, known as pneumothorax, wasn't unusual for an injury such as the one Romo sustained against the 49ers. The collection of air in the space around the lungs can put pressure on the lung so it can't expand as much as it normally would when taking a breath. Team doctors will monitor Romo and conduct more tests later in the week. Austin was bothered by his hamstring issue throughout training camp, and didn't play in overtime Sunday after a running play that set up the game-tying field goal at the end of regulation. Jones got hurt early in the game, and Costa came out after halftime. Garrett said they were all day-to-day and wouldn't speculate on whether Austin, Jones or Costa would be ready for the next game. "We have a number of guys that I don't want to get into each one, but for the most part they're coming in and getting their rehab today and I think they've done a nice job coming back the first day," he said. "We'll just see how they progress day to day as the week goes on. ... The fact we have an extra day will certainly help everyone." Neither Romo, Austin nor Jones were in the locker room Monday during the 45-minute period earlier in the day when it was opened to the media. The Cowboys went into the 49ers game without receiver Dez Bryant, who didn't practice any last week because of a bruised thigh. His return will be more vital if Austin will be out for a game or more. "We're hopeful that that thing gets drained out a little bit this week and he can run a little more in practice," Garrett said of Bryant. As for Austin, Garrett said he preferred to talk about the receiver's performance Sunday rather than the injury that was already bothering him. Austin had nine catches for 143 yards. On his last TD, he leaped over a defender and then was able to keep his body parallel to the ground long enough after diving to get the ball in the end zone, pulling Dallas within 24-21 with 6:55 to play. "That last one that he makes when he jumps over the guy and comes down and keeps himself up and uses his hand so his knee doesn't hit the ground, that has a lot to do with his athletic ability," Garrett said. He's a tremendous competitor, he's a guy who you want on his side. He played a great game." Teammates, meanwhile said they weren't surprised by Romo's gritty performance, which came a week after he had two turnovers in the final 10 minutes of a 27-24 season-opening loss at the New York Jets. "We never questioned his grit. We know he wants to win. He's one of the guys that prepares the hardest in this facility," defensive end Marcus Spears said. "Obviously the public perception after the Jets game was that he was the worst quarterback in the history of the Cowboys and then this past week he's the best." With his two TD passes against the 49ers, Romo became the first Cowboys quarterback to throw touchdowns in 20 consecutive games.

Boys Basketball Playoffs begin on busy week of High School Lites

Boys Basketball Playoffs begin on busy week of High School Lites

High School Lites is down to the final week of the regular season in local high school hoops as the Class 3A and 4A schools finish up conference play. The boys basketball playoffs have also started as the Class 1A and Class 2A regional championships will be played on Friday night.

The girls basketball Class 1A and 2A state semifinals will also be featured. You can catch all of those games on NBC Sports Chicago on Friday beginning at 11 a.m. with the 1A semifinals. High School Lites will air Friday night at 11 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago

East Aurora at No. 11 West Aurora, 7:00 p.m. -- These two rivals meet for the 225th time. The Blackhawks (20-4, 9-0) won the first matchup by 22 points as they try to finish the season on a 12-game winning streak. 

Jacobs at Dundee-Crown, 7:00 p.m. -- Fox Valley rivals match up as Jacobs tries to go unbeaten in the conference. The Eagles (23-3, 15-0) has been playing very well as they've won 20 of 21 games heading into this one -- including an earlier win against Dundee-Crown. The Chargers (14-11, 10-4) has won seven consecutive games since dropping to the Golden Eagles as they're second in the Fox Valley heading into this one. 

Yorkville at DeKalb, 7:00 p.m. -- The top two teams in the Northern Illinois Big 12 East play in this one. DeKalb (16-11, 11-1) has already clinched a share of the conference title as the team's only league loss has come against Yorkville. The Foxes (17-8, 10-2) knocked off DeKalb at their place on Feb. 3 as they try to win again to get a piece of the division title. 

T.F. North at Lemont, 7:00 p.m. -- Two of the better teams in the South Suburban Blue battle on the eve of the playoffs. Lemont (17-8, 9-3) has picked up three straight wins entering this one. T.F. North (11-9, 9-3) is trying to build some momentum after recent close losses to Hillcrest and T.F. South.

Carmel at No. 10 Benet, 7:30 p.m. -- The ESCC closes out its season with this one. Benet (22-4, 7-1) is coming off a nice road win at Marian Catholic earlier this week. Carmel (17-10, 4-4) knocked off Joliet Catholic during the week as they've been a dangerous team in the ESCC. 

Class 2A Boys Basketball Regional Championships

Leo vs. Marshall, 6 p.m. -- The Lions are the favorites but the Commandos are the host of this regional title game. Leo (20-5, 8-0) has a 13-game winning streak as they won the Catholic League White. Marshall (8-17, 4-5) struggled in the win column but they were a competitive 4-5 in a very deep Public League Red-South. 

Uplift vs. Northridge, 7 p.m. -- This should be an interesting battle as Uplift is playing on the road at Northridge. Uplift (17-9, 6-3) has played an extremely competitive schedule that includes a recent close loss to No. 1 Simeon as Kansas commit Markese Jacobs and senior forward Toraze Dobbs are one of the best combinations in the Class 2A field. Northridge (22-5, 12-0) went unbeaten in the Independent School League this season as they're riding a 13-game winning streak.

Class 1A Boys Basketball Regional Championships 

Aurora Christian vs. Harvest Christian, 7 p.m. -- These two teams play for the third time this season in what should be an interesting regional title game. Aurora Christian (23-1, 10-0) is the host as they only lost to Winnebago this season. The Eagles beat Harvest Christian twice in a six-day span in December. Harvest Christian (18-8, 8-2) finished third in the Northeastern Athletic as they played the second game within two points. 

Class 1A Girls Basketball State Semifinals

Okaw Valley vs. Stockton, 11 a.m., NBC Sports Chicago -- Okaw Valley (29-5) is making its first state appearance after winning its first regional title in school history. Stockton (31-2) finished under .500 last season (13-15) and had an amazing turnaround that includes a current 15-game winning streak. 

Lebanon vs. Schlarman, 12:45 p.m., NBC Sports Chicago -- These two teams have combined for two losses this season as this should be a good one. Lebanon (31-1) just won its first sectional title in school history as they've now moved on to state. Schlarman (31-1) is led by junior Anaya Peoples, a Notre Dame commit and five-star prospect in the Class of 2019. 

Class 2A Girls Basketball State Semifinals

Harlan vs. Eureka, 5:30 p.m., NBC Sports Chicago -- Two red-hot teams play in the first semifinal in Class 2A. Harlan (25-6) is riding a 12-game winning streak as this is its first appearance at state for girls basketball. Eureka (28-3) has a 19-game winning streak as they make their first state appearance since 1988.

Marshall vs. Teutopolis, 7:15 p.m., NBC Sports Chicago -- Two storied programs in the state match up in this one. Marshall (20-7) will be making its 21st state appearance as head coach Dorothy Gaters is one of the most storied coaches in Illinois. Teutopolis is making its 17th appearance at state as the Lady Shoes (28-6) seek their first title since 1995. 

MLB.com's Cubs' 2018 Top Prospects list full of potential impact pitchers

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USA TODAY

MLB.com's Cubs' 2018 Top Prospects list full of potential impact pitchers

Could 2018 be the year that the Cubs finally see a top pitching prospect debut with the team? 

Thursday, MLB.com released its list of the Cubs' 2018 Top 30 Prospects, a group that includes six pitchers in the Top 10. The list ranks right-hander Adbert Alzolay as the Cubs' No 1. prospect, projecting him to debut with the team this season. 

Alzolay, 22, went 7-4 with a 2.99 ERA in 22 starts between Single-A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Tennessee last season. He also struck out 108 batters in 114 1/3 innings, using a repertoire that includes a fastball that tops out around 98 MPH (according to MLB.com).

Following Alzolay as the Cubs' No. 2 overall prospect is 19-year-old shortstop Aramis Ademan. Ademan hit .267 in just 68 games between Single-A Eugene and Single-A South Bend, though it should be noted that he has soared from No. 11 in MLB.com's 2017 ranks to his current No. 2 ranking. He is not projected to make his MLB debut until 2020, however.

Following Alzolay and Ademan on the list are five consecutive pitchers ranked 3-7, respectively. Oscar De La Cruz, No. 3 on the list, slides down from his 2017 ranking in which MLB.com listed him as the Cubs' top overall prospect. De La Cruz, 22, finished 2017 with a 3.34 ERA in 13 games (12 starts) between the Arizona League and Single-A Myrtle Beach.

De La Cruz is projected to make his MLB debut in 2019, while Jose Albertos (No. 4), Alex Lange (No. 5), Brendon Little (No. 6) and Thomas Hatch (No. 7) are projected to make their big league debuts in 2019 or 2020. All are right-handed (with the exception of Little) and starting pitchers.

Hatch (third round, 2016) and Lange (30th overall, 2017) and Little (27th overall, 2017) were all top draft picks by the Cubs in recent seasons.

Having numerous starting pitchers on the cusp of the big leagues represents a significant change of pace for the Cubs. 

Since Theo Epstein took over as team president in Oct. 2011, a plethora of top prospects have debuted and enjoyed success with the Cubs. Majority have been position players, though.

The likes of Albert Almora, Javier Báez, Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras, Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell all contributed to the Cubs winning the World Series in 2016. Similarly, Ian Happ enjoyed a fair amount of success after making his MLB debut last season, hitting 24 home runs in just 115 games.

Ultimately, Alzolay would be the Cubs' first true top pitching prospect to make it to the big leagues in the Theo Epstein era. While him making it to the big leagues in 2018 is no guarantee, one would think a need for pitching will arise for the Cubs at some point, whether it be due to injury or simply for September roster expansion.

The Cubs have enjoyed tremendous success in recent years in terms of their top prospects succeeding in the MLB. If the trend continues, Alzolay should be a force to reckon with on the North Side for years to come.