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Red Sox star gets some bad injury news

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Red Sox star gets some bad injury news

From Comcast SportsNet
CHICAGO (AP) -- Carl Crawford has a sprained ligament in his throwing elbow and the Boston Red Sox left fielder will remain sidelined for a while. The team released a statement Thursday night saying Crawford's diagnosis was made by the Red Sox medical staff and confirmed by Dr. James Andrews. Crawford received a Platelet Rich Plasma injection and will be shut down from baseball activity "during the initial phase of his treatment." The club did not announce a timetable for Crawford's return, but he is expected to miss at least another month or two -- maybe more. "It is what it is what it is," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "We'll just let Mother Nature to take the time to heal him up and get him back. I don't know how to explain it or put it into my thought. I wish he was 100 percent. Not playing for a while is going to kill him more than it's killing me." The Red Sox were already short-handed in the outfield because of an injury to All-Star center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who finished second in the voting for AL MVP last season. Ellsbury is expected to be out until June because of a right shoulder injury sustained against Tampa Bay on April 13. Boston acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd from the Chicago Cubs on Saturday to help fill the void. Byrd hit just .070 (3 for 43) with Chicago, but collected his fifth hit in four games for the Red Sox on Thursday night in a 10-3 victory against the White Sox. Crawford was largely viewed as a disappointment last year when he hit .255 with 11 homers, 56 RBIs and 18 stolen bases in his first season with Boston after signing a 142 million, seven-year contract as a free agent. He is yet to play in the big leagues this season. Over the previous eight seasons, the 30-year-old Crawford hit above .300 five times for Tampa Bay, leading the American League in stolen bases four times. In his last season before coming to Boston, he batted .307 with a career-high 19 homers, drove in 90 runs and stole 47 bases. Crawford also was shut down during spring training after experiencing inflammation that stemmed from offseason surgery on his left wrist. He remained at the team's training complex in Florida after the club broke camp and participated in extended spring training games. When the soreness in his left elbow lingered, Crawford traveled to Birmingham, Ala., to be examined by Andrews, a noted specialist in elbow injuries. Crawford was diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament. Lars Anderson, normally a first baseman, started in left field for Boston against the White Sox on Thursday night. Anderson played 571 of his 578 minor league games and his first 25 big league games at first base.

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Otto Porter Jr. begins 2018-19 season with way too few shot attempts in Wizards' loss

Otto Porter Jr. begins 2018-19 season with way too few shot attempts in Wizards' loss

The initiative to get Otto Porter Jr. more attempts from three this season is not off to a great start.

That right there is called an understatement. Because it would be one thing if Porter only took a couple of them, but he literally took zero against the Heat on Thursday night in the Wizards' 2018-19 regular season opener.

Yes, one of the NBA's best three-point shooters didn't even get off a single attempt from long range. That is simply hard to justify, especially after a preseason in which the team had a stated goal to shoot more threes than ever before.

It wasn't just threes. The often deferential Porter was even more gun shy than normal. He only took seven total shots in the 113-112 loss and topped out at just nine points.

Porter, in fact, had just one field goal attempt until there was 1:19 remaining in the first half, when he got two of them on the same play thanks to a rebound on his own miss.

Porter still affected the game in other ways, per usual. He had 11 rebounds, three steals and three blocks and finished +1 in +/- rating.

But for Porter to reach the next level as a player, he has to add volume to his efficient scoring numbers.

"We will look at the film and figure it out," head coach Scott Brooks said. "It's not like we go into the game wanting to only shoot 26 threes [as a team] and Otto shoot zero."

Brooks continued to say the problem is a combination of several things. More plays could be called for Porter and his teammates could look for him more often.

But ultimately, it's up to Porter to assert himself and take initiative. Granted, that may have been easier said than done against the Heat, who boast one of the best perimeter defenders in basketball in Josh Richardson. They are a scrappy team with athletic and hard-nosed defenders on the wing.

For Porter, though, that shouldn't matter. Ultimately, his share of the offense is up to him. The ball is going to swing around often enough for him to create his own opportunities.

Porter only taking seven shots is a bad sign considering Thursday was a better opportunity to get shots than he may receive in most games. The Wizards added Dwight Howard this summer and last season he averaged 11.2 shots per game, 3.4 more than Marcin Gortat, whom he replaced in the starting lineup.

It won't be easy, but the Wizards need Porter to take matters into his own hands.

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Despite late penalty, Todd Reirden doesn’t want to see Nathan Walker change his game

Despite late penalty, Todd Reirden doesn’t want to see Nathan Walker change his game

The Caps looked like they were in good shape in the third period on Wednesday. With a 3-2 lead in the final frame against a New York Rangers team that had played the night before, Washington looked like they were starting to wear down the blue shirts and tilt the ice in their favor.

But everything changed just before the midway point of the period.

Nathan Walker, in the lineup for the first time since Oct. 4, chased down Neal Pionk behind the Rangers net as Pionk went to collect the puck. Walker put his arms around the Rangers’ defenseman to slow him up and he was called for holding.

“That was the safest thing possible for me to do is to wrap him up and take him in the corner like that,” Walker said to NBC Sports Washington on Friday. “Personally, I didn't think it was a good call on the ref's side, but that's the way it goes.”

Just over a minute later, Chris Kreider deflected a shot that was going wide past Braden Holtby for the power play goal to tie the game at 3.

A third period mistake that tied the game from a player in and out of the lineup could have been a devastating moment for Walker, but head coach Todd Reirden was adamant after the game that he did not want Walker to lose his aggressiveness or change the way he plays as a result of Wednesday’s mistake.

“I insert him to be aggressive and his intensity was something we needed,” Reirden said. “I thought he won a lot of puck battles earlier in the game and at different points. He's pursuing the puck trying to force a turnover and it ends up as a call against. That's I think a tough call in that situation, but we're able to pick him up and if there's a guy on our team that we want to rally around and try to come back for, it's someone like that with a work ethic and just commitment and dedication and how he is as a teammate.”

Luckily for Walker, the Caps were still able to get the win thanks to Matt Niskanen’s overtime goal. Those were nervous moments for him watching as the team tried to overcome his mistake.

“It's definitely nerve-wracking for sure,” Walker said. “You kind of feel like you're the reason why they got back into the game. I personally thought we were all over them in the third period up until they got that goal. I think we still played really well, but obviously the play with the lead is a lot nicer than playing tied up 10 minutes to go in the third. It was nerve-wracking, but it was good that the guys came through and we got the two points at the end of the day so that's the main thing.”

The fact that Walker’s mistake did not end up costing the team will make it easier for Reirden’s message to sink in. It’s his aggressiveness that makes him valuable. One mistake should not make him change that aspect of his game.

Said Reirden, “It's something that if he stops hunting pucks and creating havoc up ice then he's just a very average player that's going to find himself in and out of the league.”

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