McQuaid recovering from blood clot surgery

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McQuaid recovering from blood clot surgery

If the NHL season had started on time it wouldnt have mattered for Adam McQuaid.

The rugged Bruins defenseman told CSNNE.com he underwent surgery in early October for thoracic outlet syndrome after a blood clot developed under his collarbone. The surgery would have knocked him out until late January or early February.

McQuaid, 26, said his right arm blew up after one of the skating sessions at Harvard University in mid-September. He needed to undergo two significant surgeries at Mass General Hospital within a couple of weeks of each other, one to remove the dangerous clot, and another to prevent the condition from recurring in his arm.

McQuaid needed to have an entire rib removed along with part of his neck muscle as part of the procedure. He has been recovering slowly in the Boston area since then.

According to McQuaid, the injury can sometimes be caused by whiplash, and might have been the reason he had experienced neck injuries in each of the last few seasons most notably in the playoffs against the Flyers during Bostons Stanley Cup run.

It happened in the first week working out at Harvard. Im on the road to recovery, but I still have a ways to go yet, McQuaid told CSNNE.com. The reason behind the surgery is to prevent it from happening again. It should be fine once Im fully recovered.

It could have been a lot worse. Now its been taken care of and I can get back to regular activity. Im just getting my feet under me right now.

The 6-foot-5 defenseman has been completely out of action for the last few months, not to mention extremely bored without any hockey to watch. Luckily McQuaid has medical coverage under the NHLPA that covered his medical expenses during the labor stoppage, but he cant get any treatment from the Bruins medical staff while the lockout is ongoing.

I would have been hit with a pretty big medical bill, so Im lucky that Im taken care of in that way, said McQuaid, who just went on the ice for the first time on Tuesday but did not shoot any pucks.

McQuaid said he didnt have time to be scared when his arm first began giving him trouble, but now he has to battle through arm weakness and nerve damage following the surgery. He admitted he still gets some tingling in his fingers as the nerves continue to heal from the surgery.

McQuaid is just now getting back on the ice to stretch his legs as he did Wednesday morning, but, essentially, he didn't do anything more than skate in circles while his teammates went through drills at the other end of the rink.

Its following the same protocol you always would. Ideally you get back as quick as you can, but I definitely still have a ways to go, said McQuaid, who said its a three-and-a-half to four-month recovery from the time of surgery.

I need to try and get back to not only using my arm, but giving a hit and taking a hit. Im taking it one step at a time, but getting back on the ice and being around the guys is a good start.

Arm strength is of particular importance to a guy like McQuaid, who has made his bones in the NHL as a tough guy that can stand toe-to-toe with anybody in a hockey fight.

The hope is that McQuaid could be ready to go in four-to-six weeks if the NHL comes to an agreement on a CBA over the next month, but the Bs defenseman admitted the recovery timetable for the surgery a rare one in the hockey world is different for each individual.

A conservative estimate would put McQuaid on course for a return in February, and that also means there could be a spot open on the Bs roster for an extra defenseman. A group hopefuls, including Garnet Exelby, Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski, Colby Cohen and Tommy Cross could be competing for the spot as they play in Providence.

For now McQuaid is simply rehabbing as he normally would from an in-season injury and waiting for the lockout to end just like everybody else.

Its obviously a different situation for me. I wouldnt have been playing regardless the last few months but going into it I dont think anybody thought the lockout would go into this stage of the season, said McQuaid. I know the guys skating here are getting tired of it and anxious to get back. I know the guys over in Europe want to get back here as well.

It would have been nice for me to have some hockey to watch. I can look at it from a fans perspective for a while because Id be sitting on the couch watching the games. Hopefully something will get worked out soon.

Hopefully the NHL season will return soon, and hopefully McQuaid is eventually ready for a full return to Bostons lineup after enduring such a significant health scare.

First Celtics practice 'a little different' but 'feels right' for Horford

First Celtics practice 'a little different' but 'feels right' for Horford

WALTHAM, Mass. – NBA players are creatures of habit so you can understand why Al Horford was just a little bit out of his element on his first practice with the Boston Celtics.
 
After nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, Horford hit the free agent market this summer and signed a four-year, $113 million with the Celtics.
 
Horford acknowledged that his first practice with the Celtics “was a little different” but added, “It’s definitely a weird feeling, but it feels right to be here.”

Players, coaches, national pundits, the list is seemingly endless when it comes to folks who believe Horford is an ideal fit with the Boston Celtics.
 
“He can do score in the paint, shoot 3s, defend, pass, he can do it all out there,” Amir Johnson told CSNNE.com. “He’s going to fit in well with us.”
 
But like any rookie or newcomer to a team, Horford admitted he had some moments when he was a step or two late getting to where he needed to be on the floor.
 
“We’re running through a lot of plays, a lot of concepts being thrown out,” Horford said. “It’s a matter of getting comfortable with all the sets.”
 
As much as he will work to figure things out, Horford is wise enough to know he’ll need the help of his new teammates, too.
 
“I’m going to lean on a lot of the guys,” Horford said. “I’ll definitely ask a lot of questions. Avery (Bradley) already has gotten in my ear, anything I need he’s there for me. I just want to get acclimated as fast as I can.”
 
Horford also said that head coach Brad Stevens has been extremely helpful in assisting him in speeding up his learning curve.
 
“Coach (Stevens) is very sharp, very . . .  he explains things well,” Horford said. “He explains things well. He wants practice to move along. The pace of practice, definitely a faster pace.”
 
But you won’t find Horford complaining.
 
Horford is clearly excited about starting this new chapter in his basketball career.
 
“For me it’s more of a relief, finally being here in Boston, house, being settled,” Horford said. “Now we can just focus on the season.”

Pomeranz scratched from last start, could pitch out of bullpen in playoffs

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Pomeranz scratched from last start, could pitch out of bullpen in playoffs

NEW YORK -- With the postseason just over a week away, it didn't appear that Drew Pomeranz was going to be part of the Red Sox' starting rotation.

On Tuesday, that became official.

Pomeranz was scratched from his last scheduled start of the regular season Thursday with some soreness in his forearm. Henry Owens will take his turn against the Yankees.

"He's come out of this last start (in Tampa Bay) a little bit more sore,'' said John Farrell. "There's been a need for additinal recovery time (and there's also) the total number of innings pitched. There's a number of factors.

"The forearm area is where he's experiencing some discomfort. He needs a few extra days. So combined with his career high in innings pitched (169.1), we're backing him out of his last start.''

Farrell emphasized that Pomeranz hadn't been shut down for the season, but did say that if the lefty pitched again, it would be out of the bullpen.

"We need to get him back on a mound,'' Farrell said, "hopefully by the end of the week to determine what role he'll have in the bullpen going forward.''

The fact that the Red Sox were a win -- or a Toronto loss -- away from clinching the division and have the luxury of being careful didn't have an impact on the decision to hold him out.

"You always put the player's health at the forefront,'' said Farrell. "Is this increased risk with the higher number of innings, or additional needed recovery time? You factor those in. This is independent of the standings.''

Pomeranz appeared to have been squeezed out of playoff rotation, with the four spots going to Rick Porcello, David Price, Eduardo Rodriguez and Clay Buchholz.

In 13 starts, Pomeranz was 3-5 with a 4.68 ERA with the Red Sox after being obtained in a July trade with San Diego.

Two weeks ago, the Padres were disciplined for not fully disclosing all the necessary medical information with the Red Sox leading up to the deal, with GM A.J. Preller suspended for 30 days without pay.

It's unclear whether this injury is at all related to info the Padres withheld from the Red Sox.

"I can't really comment on that,'' Farrell said. "I do know what the player needs is some additional time. What's attached to that previously, I really don't have the specifics.''