Capitals

Celtics' Sullinger has surgery, out for season

Celtics' Sullinger has surgery, out for season

BOSTON (AP) For the second time in less than a week, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers had to tell his team that they would be without a key contributor for the remainder of the season.

The Celtics announced Friday that first-round draft choice Jared Sullinger underwent successful lumbar disk surgery and will miss the rest of the season. He is expected to be ready in time for next season's training camp.

``He was playing great,'' Rivers said. ``I think the good news is we know he can play and we know he will be a very good player. In the long run, this will make him healthier.''

The announcement came five days after All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo was diagnosed with a torn ACL that will keep him out for the rest of the season.

``Losing Rondo was big enough for us and now we're losing Sully, one of the best rebounders on the team,'' guard Courtney Lee said. ``It was definitely shocking. We didn't know how serious (his) injury was when he left the game.''

Rivers told his team after Friday morning's shootaround that Sullinger would be out for the season.

``(It was) one of those moments where it's, `Man, it can't get much worse than this,''' said Lee, who was unaware Sullinger had the surgery. ``We want to stay positive. We need to continue to fight and continue to push.''

For the Celtics, ranked 29th in the league in rebounds entering Friday night's game, the injury means others will need to contribute on the glass. In 45 games, Sullinger averaged six points and 5.9 rebounds, which was third-best on the team.

``We will have to play differently - again,'' Rivers said. ``We will definitely have to be a small-ball team. We'll have to be creative. Our perimeter guys are going to have to rebound more. The guy I will put the most pressure on, and it's a little unfair because he's never been a great rebounder, is Jeff (Green). When he's in the game, he will have to rebound.''

Sullinger had been tabbed as a lottery pick before health concerns dropped him to 21st overall in the draft.

``We're very happy to have drafted him,'' Rivers said. ``We felt that this would happen at some point, but we just thought it would be during the summer where we could just say it is time to do it. It just happened now.''

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Capitals place Taylor Chorney on waivers, which could signal something, or nothing

Capitals place Taylor Chorney on waivers, which could signal something, or nothing

When the Capitals acquired defenseman Michal Kempny on Monday, that put the team at the maximum of 23 players on the roster including eight defenseman.

Another move seemed likely and the Caps made it on Tuesday by placing veteran blueliner Taylor Chorney on waivers.

Teams now will have 24 hours to potentially claim Chorney. Should he clear at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, it is expected that he will be sent to the Hershey Bears of the AHL. Whether he is claimed or sent to Hershey, his entire $800,000 cap hit will no longer count against the Capitals' salary.

One important thing to note, however, is that placing Chorney on waivers was not required in order for Washington to remain under the salary cap.

Having eight defensemen would mean scratching two every game — assuming the team does not dress seven and after that failed experiment in last year's playoffs, why would they — which means it would be a struggle to make sure everyone gets consistent playing time in the final weeks of the season.

Perhaps placing Chorney on waivers is the team trying to get him more playing time to keep him sharp in case the team suffers injuries on the blue line and he is called upon in the playoffs.

Or perhaps it could mean something else.

RELATED: RANKING THE CAPITALS' TOP PROSPECTS

Chorney played on Feb. 15, but that was during the mentor's trip. Barry Trotz's policy for those trips is to get everyone in at least one of those two games. Before that, Chorney had not played since Jan. 2. It certainly seems like the team was comfortable with him being the designated No. 7 and was not all that concerned about getting him regular playing time before now.

When asked if the Kempny trade would mean any roster moves, Trotz said Monday that he was not sure and hinted that perhaps more moves could be coming from general manager Brian MacLellan. Moving Chorney's salary off the books does not clear much cap room, but it does clear some.

Perhaps MacLellan has another move up his sleeve before Monday's trade deadline.

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New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

News broke Tuesday that the Tampa Bay Bucaneers released former Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin, and while the name certainly triggers value, his play of the last two seasons should calm the excitement. 

Since a 2015 season where Martin rushed for 1,400 yards and averaged nearly 5 yards-per-carry in 16 games, Martin has been suspended, undergone substance abuse rehab and missed games due to injury.

In the last two seasons, Martin has played in 16 of 32 games, rushed for 827 yards and averaged less than 3 yards-per-carry.

Over his six year NFL career with the Bucs, Martin has only played two full seasons. Those two seasons were great, in 2012 and 2015, but the other four have been largely disappointing. 

RELATED: WHAT SHOULD THE REDSKINS DO AT RUNNING BACK?

The Redskins averaged just 3.6 yards-per-carry last season, and could definitely use a boost in the run game. It's entirely possible Washington might look to upgrade their offensive backfield this offseason, either in free agency or in the 2018 NFL Draft, but Martin does not look like the player to help. 

Early in the 2017 season, it appeared the Redskins run game might be a strength for the offense. After a disappointing effort on the ground to open the year in a loss to the Eagles, the Redskins rushed for at least 111 yards in their next three contests, including nearly 230 yards on the ground in a Week 2 win over the Rams. 

Injuries undid the run game, however, as Rob Kelley got hurt and the offensive line lost players, too. Over the course of the season, rookie Samaje Perine sustained minor injuries and Chris Thompson was lost for the year with a broken leg. 

Going into 2018, Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Kapri Bibbs are all on the roster and expected for now to stay with the team. That's yet another reason why the Redskins are likely to stay away from Doug Martin.

RELATED: 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 5.0

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