Nationals

Kahn: Love will be out for 'a number of weeks'

Kahn: Love will be out for 'a number of weeks'

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love met with doctors in the Twin Cities on Monday to evaluate his right hand, which is broken for the second time this season.

Love also will consult with a hand specialist in New York this week before determining a course of action, president of basketball operations David Kahn said. There is no timetable for his return, but the All-Star forward and Olympic gold medalist is expected to be sidelined for an extended period.

Kahn is ramping up conversations with other teams to see if there might be a trade to be made to supplement an injury-plagued team that remains hopeful about making the playoffs this season.

``I certainly think he'll be out for a number of weeks,'' Kahn said after practice on Monday. ``But because we don't have anything else definitive yet, I can't say precisely what that means. But a number of weeks is a number of weeks, and yes it's important for us to try to figure out if there's something we can do to help alleviate his loss.''

Love missed the first three weeks of the season after breaking his hand during the preseason. He didn't need surgery for that injury, and it's still unknown if he will need it this time around.

``We know how to play without him, but we will need him,'' point guard Ricky Rubio said. ``He's an All-Star. He does a lot of things for our team. Now some players have to step up and show why they are here in the NBA.''

Love surprised many by returning ahead of schedule on Nov. 21, but it's been clear over the last month that the hand was still bothering him. The defending 3-point shootout champion is shooting just 35 percent from the field and 21.7 percent on 3s.

He broke the hand again while jockeying for position under the basket against Denver last week. He's been unavailable for comment since the injury.

``He's disappointed,'' Kahn said. ``I think that so much has happened to him this year that, probably like all of us, my sense is he too is almost disbelieving. It almost seems like somebody made this stuff up.''

The timing of Love's injury makes it difficult for the Wolves to make any significant move to bolster the roster. The trade deadline is still more than a month away, which is problematic for the Wolves in a league where executives typically like to wait until the last minute to make a big deal.

``We're talking to a number of teams about possibilities,'' Kahn said. ``But it's very difficult to make trades, especially significant trades, in the month of January. ... Typically the league is a deadline-driven league and it tends to do trades as we get close to the deadline.''

The Wolves don't just need help in the frontcourt. Knee injuries to Brandon Roy, Chase Budinger, Malcolm Lee and Josh Howard have decimated the depth at shooting guard and small forward as well, and they are in desperate need of a reliable 3-point shooter to help spread the floor.

In a rare bit of good news on the injury front, Rubio is expected to play Tuesday against Atlanta after missing four games with back spasms. He has played in five games this season since he returned from a torn ACL in his left knee. He's also dealt with a sore groin since he came back, which was expected as he tries to get back into full game action after missing nine months with his knee injury.

``All we can do is move forward,'' Rubio said. ``There's things that you can't control and things you have to deal with. I'm not going to stop because I had pain at some point and I have to do extra work again. I'm going to do it and I'm going to try to be as ready as I can when the games come.''

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Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter:http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

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Astros players plan to make a team statement on sign-stealing scandal during Spring Training

Astros players plan to make a team statement on sign-stealing scandal during Spring Training

The Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal has rocked MLB and left a dark shadow over the league during offseason. Up until this point, despite a fired general manager and on-field manager, the players at the root of the scandal have remained silent on the subject and avoided questions from the media.

That will all change in Spring Training as the Astros players plan to make "a strong statement as a team," according to Astros' owner Jim Crane. 

"When we get down to Spring Training, we'll all get them together and they'll come out with a strong statement as a team and apologize for what happened and we'll move forward," Crane said in a media scrum.

Over the weekend the team held their annual winter FanFest where several players had to face the music as many players met with the media for the first time. Jose Altuve, who is one of the players who allegedly benefited from the sign-stealing, dodged the question as best he could. The Astros shortstop's comments coincide with Crane's, saying “I think the time to comment about that will come. It’s a little early for me to say something about it.” 

Outside of their FanFest event, there is little that has come out of the clubhouse. Their owner acknowledged the lack of communication from the players and said the players were advised to stay out of the conversation. 

"The players have been beaten up a little bit and they've been all spread out. They've just kinda getting [sic] advice to take it easy."

Already Spring Training in West Palm Beach is going to be awkward between the two teams that made the World Series last season. The Nationals, who won the World Series whether or not the Astros used their system to gain an advantage, have their facilities next door to Houston's.

And if the Astros sign former Nationals' manager Dusty Baker to the same position in wake of A.J. Hinch's firing, there will be even more tense situations at Spring Training this year. 

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Jay Gruden reportedly to join Jaguars as their offensive coordinator

Jay Gruden reportedly to join Jaguars as their offensive coordinator

Just four months shy of his last appearance on the NFL gridiron sidelines, Jay Gruden may already have his 2020 gig lined up, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.

Gruden was head coach of the Washington Redskins for six seasons, beginning in 2014 and going 35-49-1 in his burgundy and gold tenure. Gruden pushed the Redskins to their first postseason appearance since 2012 in his second year with the team, as well as back-to-back winning seasons in 2015 and 2016, not seen in Washington since 1996 and 1997. 

In March 2017, Gruden signed a two-year extension with the Redskins. He was fired after beginning the 2019 season 0-5. 

Recently, Gruden confirmed to Rapoport that he was "itching for something to do" and seeking employment before Jacksonville brought him in to interview for the OC role. 

After playing four years at the University of Louisville and and eight more in various football leagues, Gruden held many offensive roles, offensive coordinator for the Florida Tuskers and Cincinnati Bengals. 

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