This NBA star won't be back until next season

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This NBA star won't be back until next season

From Comcast SportsNetBOSTON (AP) -- Boston Celtics star point guard Rajon Rondo will miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.The news came during Boston's 100-98 double-overtime win over the Miami Heat on Sunday in which Ray Allen returned to his old home court for the first time."New guys are going to get an opportunity now," Boston forward Paul Pierce said. "These guys haven't had a chance to really showcase what they can do."For the past five seasons, Pierce, Allen and Kevin Garnett made up the Big Three. After Allen signed with the Heat as a free agent in the offseason, Rondo joined that group -- and became the team leader with his ability to run the offense.He was chosen as the starting point guard for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star game in Houston on Feb. 17.Now the Celtics hope he can be ready for the start of next season."How far is that?" coach Doc Rivers said, "I don't even know how long that is. Eight months? Nine months? So he'll probably be ready, but I don't know.Rondo injured his right knee in Friday night's 123-112 double-overtime loss in Atlanta, a game in which the Celtics blew a 27-point lead, but Rivers said he didn't know when.He reported to the TD Garden on Sunday for a pregame shootaround but was taken to a hospital after complaining of pain.The initial report was a hyperextended knee, but tests showed the ACL tear.Rivers said he learned about 25 minutes before the game that Rondo wouldn't play. Word of the injury's severity came during the game."He was telling me he thought he pulled his hamstring," Rivers said, "Rondo will be fine. He just will not be fine this year."The team made the announcement during Sunday's win in the nationally televised game that snapped a losing streak that had reached six games despite back-to-back triple-doubles by Rondo."We've just got to rally around each other," Pierce said. "I feel for him. He was having such a good season. It's disappointing news."As Celtics players walked off the court through a tunnel toward their locker room, Rondo, dressed in street clothes, greeted them."I know he's sad. I'm sad for him," starting guard Avery Bradley said. "Whatever Doc wants me to play, that's what I'm going to do."Rondo was averaging career highs of 13.7 points and 5.6 rebounds along with 11.1 assists this season.Still, the Celtics are struggling to remain around .500, finishing the day with a 21-23 record, 2 12 games ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference.The Celtics have no true point guard behind Rondo. Rivers said he didn't know if they would try to add one.Jason Terry, known for his outside shooting, Courtney Lee, Leandro Barbosa and Bradley are the other guards. Each played at least 25 minutes Sunday with Lee starting in Rondo's place."We knew something was up at the beginning, but we didn't know how serious it was," Lee said. "Nobody can fill his shoes. That's what makes him great. So the only thing we can do is work as hard as possible and keep the momentum going from this game and have no letup."Rondo suffered a dislocated left elbow in the playoffs on May 7, 2011, when he became entangled with Miami's Dwyane Wade.Boston won 97-81, but Miami won the next two games to clinch the second-round series in five games.

First impressions of the Red Sox' 11-9 loss to the Twins

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First impressions of the Red Sox' 11-9 loss to the Twins

BOSTON -- First impressions of the Boston Red Sox 11-9 loss to the Minnesota Twins:

David Price was once again disappointing.

Minnesota is a team opposing pitchers should long to face.

Their No. 3, 4 and 5 hitters all have averages below .250 with average to below average home run totals.

The only hitter who poses and all-around legitimate threat is Eduardo Nunez, who would probably bat seventh in Boston’s lineup.

While there were other factors at play, Price once again left the ball up in the zone too much. That’s a big problem when nature’s playing a factor in the game.

Either way, with the Twins in town, Price has to be better.

Saturday marked the second time of the season where Sandy Leon registered back-to-back hitless performances.

The previous pair came back on June 29th and July 2nd with a layoff between the two contests.

In his last five contests, Leon is 3-for-17. His power numbers are also down in that stretch, with only two extra-base hits that came on the same night.

It could be a small rough patch given Leon was 7-for-19 with a home run and a double (in separate contests) in the five games preceding this dry spell.

Either ay it’s something to watch as Leon plays more and more.

The wind played a factor in the high-run total.

The second hit of the ball game seemed like a medium-depth fly to right, and nearly carried out of the ballpark.

Michael Martinez was twisting and turning on fly balls changing direction all night -- and there’s evidence it wasn’t just him.

David Ortiz reached on a pop up that Nunez went after, which never left the infield.

Trash and dust were flying everywhere in the first inning. While that intensity didn’t maintain all night, it was definitely an issue players had to consider throughout the game.

The bullpen mop-up crew couldn’t get the job done.

While some of the hits in the five-run seventh were luck, Clay Buchholz and Tommy Layne flat out couldn’t get the job done against a rough lineup.

Neither is a terribly great option -- so the Red Sox might want to reconsider using either one in those situations.

Even Heath Hembree couldn’t put together a decent night. Someone has to stop the bleeding when things get out of control.

The Red Sox pitchers can’t keep throwing away nine-run performances.

With Friday night serving as evidence, the offense will not always have great nights.

So when they do, the pitch has to be decent -- but they couldn’t even do that Saturday.

Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter: @ngfriar

Je-Vaughn Watson scores late, Revs beat Fire 1-0

Je-Vaughn Watson scores late, Revs beat Fire 1-0

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Je-Vaughn Watson scored on a header in the 85th minute and the New England Revolution beat the Chicago Fire 1-0 on Saturday night.

The Revolution (6-7-8) had a flurry of attempts leading up to the goal and Fire (4-10-5) goalkeeper Sean Johnson made three saves in the 2 minutes prior.

But Johnson came off his line to defend Chris Tierney's corner and failed to clear it with his outstretched hand while Watson connected and sent the header into the empty net.

Bobby Shuttleworth earned his fifth shutout of the season for New England.

Could Chris Sale's altercation open the door to get him at a lower cost?

Could Chris Sale's altercation open the door to get him at a lower cost?

Chris Sale -- this year’s American league starting pitcher in the All-Star game -- was a late scratch and sent home before his scheduled Saturday start.

This of course comes after the White Sox have begun to listen to offers for their bonafide ace -- including the Red Sox.

Preceding the game, the White Sox released a statement from senior vice president/general manager Rick Hahn explaining that Sale’s removal was “due to a clubhouse incident before the game.”

After ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported the altercation was with staff from the front office and had nothing to do with his teammates, there was another report that the issue pertained to the throwback uniforms the White Sox planned to wear for Saturday’s game.

Fox’s Ken Rosenthal has additionally been told the issue “was bigger than that.” 

Sale is a huge addition to any starting rotation -- never mind the Red Sox staff.

His stats are without a doubt impressive. An All-Star every season since 2012 thanks to his career 2.95 ERA and 10.1 K/9 -- this year posting a 3.18 ERA and 8.7 K/9.

But numbers can be deceiving -- especially with players playing for a small market club. That’s not the case with Sale though. While the White Sox haven’t contended in the postseason with the lefty, there’s no denying that Chicago isn’t a small market by any means.

The jump from Chicago to Boston is nothing compared to players coming from places like Miami or Atlanta -- or San Diego. So Sale presents a good fit in terms of approach -- in addition to having good stuff.

The incident makes Sale come across as a prima donna, the fact that the issue went past the uniforms shows there could be a deeper issue at hand -- and not so much an indictment of his mental make-up.

Additionally, this altercation could open the door to get Sale at a lower value. If it was that bad that he was sent home, it could take a lot more than a stern talk and hand shakes to resolve the issue, giving interested teams a much better chance to obtain the Cy Young candidate.

However, if the Red Sox do manage to strike a deal with the White Sox, they’d be wise to throw someone else on throwback nights.

Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter: @ngfriar