Cubs

Gibbs will miss 4-6 months

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Gibbs will miss 4-6 months

Its a good thing Arne Friedrich, the veteran German defender, is ready to play. The Fire needs him badly now, following Tuesdays surprise announcement that central defender Cory Gibbs will be sidelined 4-6 months following knee surgery.

Gibbs went down during a training session last week and sat out Saturdays friendly against the University of Louisville at Toyota Park, the match in which Friedrich made his Fire debut. Club staffers waited until after Tuesdays surgery at Glenbrook Hospital to release word on Gibbs status. The surgery, to repair a torn meniscus in Gibbs right knee, was performed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jason Koh of NorthShore Medical Group.

"The last couple days, after hearing about the injury, was basically another low point in my life, said Gibbs, in a statement released by the team. "With the support from my wife, family and teammates and with prayer, I definitely have a more positive outlook. Ive dealt with injuries in the past and have come back to perform at a high level. I hate missing training and contributing in games, so from the first day after the operation Im going to do everything I can to get back as soon as possible."

Gibbs, 32, was a mainstay in the back last season, his first with the Fire. With 19 caps for the U.S. national team, Gibbs was the Fires Defender of the Year in 2011 and scored a memorable goal against Englands Manchester United in a friendly at sold out Soldier Field. Along the way Gibbs also served as a mentor for Jalil Anibaba in his rookie season.

Anibaba played beside Gibbs in the center of the four-man back line in the first three games of this campaign, with Gibbs on the field every minute. Friedrich will move into a center back spot now, but declared himself only 70 percent fit after playing 88 minutes in the Fires 1-0 win over the Louisville collegians.

If a replacement is needed for either Anibaba or Friedrich in Sundays home match against the Houston Dynamo, the logical player off the bench would be Austin Berry. The Fires first-round selection (ninth overall) in Januarys SuperDraft, Berry has yet to play in a Major League Soccer match.

Last season the Fire was deep at the center back position, with Gibbs having Josip Mikulic, Yamith Cuesta and Anibaba as available partners. Family issues kept Mikulic from rejoining the Fire for this season, and contract issues led to Cuesta leaving the club.

Anibaba started as the right back in his rookie season, but coach Frank Klopas preferred him more in the center after the acquisition of Dan Gargan in a trade with Toronto FC late in the campaign. Gargan will start on the right on Sunday, assuming a sprained toe on his left foot has healed. That injury kept Gargan out of the Fires last MLS game -- a 2-0 loss at Colorado on April 1 -- and he only jogged on the sidelines during Saturdays friendly.

The starter on the left side will again be Gonzalo Segares. In his eighth season with the Fire, Segares will make his 151st regular season appearance, tying him with Jim Curtin for ninth all-time on the Fires career games-played list.

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 10th, 11th homers in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 10th, 11th homers in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa is heating up, but even a red-hot Sosa doesn't automatically equal wins for the Cubs.

Slammin' Sammy notched his first multi-homer game in 1998 in a 9-5 loss to Kevin Millwood and the Atlanta Braves. Sosa drove in 4 of the Cubs' 5 runs on a solo shot in the 4th inning and a three-run shot in the 8th. 

Sosa tallied 830 feet of homers in the game, with his first blast going 410 feet and the second shot measured at 420 feet.

The big game bumped Sosa's overall season slash line to .337/.411/.551 (.962 OPS) with 11 homers and 35 RBI.

Fun fact: Mickey Morandini hit second for the Cubs in this game and went 4-for-4, but somehow only scored one run despite hitting just in front of Sosa all game. That's because Morandini was caught stealing to end the 3rd inning, leaving Sosa to lead off the 4th inning with a solo blast.

Steve Kerr told a Michael Jordan Bulls story to give advice to Kevin Durant

Steve Kerr told a Michael Jordan Bulls story to give advice to Kevin Durant

Anyone who lived through the Michael Jordan Bulls remembers those games when he was putting up tons of points, but the Bulls were still struggling overall.

Steve Kerr referenced one of those games to give advice to Kevin Durant during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. The TNT broadcast caught the conversation and aired it late in the third quarter.

"When MJ was with the Bulls, we had a playoff game," Kerr began the story. "He kept trying to score and he was scoring, but we weren't getting anything going. Phil Jackson said 'Who's open?' He said, 'John Paxson.'"

Paxson famously hit the game-winning shot in Game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals to clinch the series. Kerr, who later hit his own championship-winning shot on an assist from Jordan in 1997, was trying to get to get his teammates involved.

"I want to trust your teammates early," Kerr said. "What you're doing is you're getting to the rim and then you're trying to hit him. I want you to trust the first guy and then move. Still attack, still look to score, but trust these guys, OK?"

Watch the video above to see the interaction.

Durant scored 29 points in Game 5 to lead the Warriors, but Houston took a 3-2 series lead with a 98-94 win.