Crawford: I thought I'd be fine by now

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Crawford: I thought I'd be fine by now

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Carl Crawford was told Monday that he should refrain from baseball activity for the next 5-7 days, a bit of news that he took philosophically as he attempts to rebound from wrist surgery.

"I just took it in stride,'' said Crawford Tuesday morning. "There's not too much I can really do. I have to just go with the flow and do whatever I can. That's pretty much it.

"I'm pretty sure just waiting and making sure it's fine and isn't going to hurt. I'm pretty much worrying about my timing. I wanted to get that part in. But at the end of the day, it's probably best to wait for it to heal correctly. That way, I can be strong and not have to worry about it happening again.''

Crawford had attempted to step up his rehab program with some aggressive swings and some bunting drills last week, only to experience some soreness and inflammation.

"It's something I can't control,'' he said. "I just have to wait until it gets ready and my body feels strong and my hand feels strong. I just have to wait for the soreness to go away.''

Manager Bobby Valentine said Monday that, thanks to the week off from activity, having Crawford in the Opening Day lineup is "probably not realistic.''

But Crawford himself isn't sure how long it will take for him to get ready once he's cleared to resume swinging and throwing.

"That's the question I really don't know,'' he said. "I just have to get out there and see how I'm feeling. Normally, for me, I like to get a lot of ABs, so whatever that number is, I'm going to try to get up to where I'm feeling good and have confidence when I come back.

"I thought it would be fine by now, so I have no clue.''

Crawford blamed his own eagerness for the setback and not the rehab program he was following.

"I don't think it was the program,'' he said. "I think it was me pushing myself, just to see. Stuff like this happens. You can't predict this kind of stuff. It's just a setback and you just have to do what you need to do and keep moving forward.

"I think I was just focused on trying to get back period. Opening Day was a goal, but I wanted to be ready for spring training games so I can get the reps. I just wanted to get back on the field in general.''

Patriots place Vincent Valentine on IR, promote Geneo Grissom

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Patriots place Vincent Valentine on IR, promote Geneo Grissom

FOXBORO -- Anyone hoping to see Vincent Valentine make his season debut got some bad news Friday. 

Valentine, who has been inactive for both of the Patriots' first two games with a knee injury, was placed on injured reserve. ESPN's Field Yates was first to report the news.

With Valentine on IR, Geneo Grissom was added to the roster from the practice squad. ESPN's Mike Reiss had that one first:

Valentine, whom the Pats chose 96th overall in 2016, has not been practicing with the team as he's dealt with the knee injury.

A third-round pick of the Pats in 2015, Grissom was released by the team in September and signed to the practice squad a day later. 

Cassidy: Khudobin 'has a leg up' on backup competition in Bruins camp

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Cassidy: Khudobin 'has a leg up' on backup competition in Bruins camp

BOSTON – Fresh off a strong performance allowing just a single goal on 31 shots in his preseason debut, Tuukka Rask looked close to the top of his game and exactly where he needs to be with the regular season a couple of weeks away. Nearly as important as Rask’s state as the regular season nears, the Bruins coaching staff has been keeping a keen eye through camp on the all-important backup goaltender position as well. 

It’s important that the Bruins have a quality backup goalie in place as they hope to start Rask in just 55-60 games this season, and manage the slender puck-stopper in a way where they can get the best out of him from beginning to end. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy indicated Anton Khudobin has the inside track on the backup job after finding his groove in the second half of last season, and it would appear he’s well on his way to retaining his job with a Malcolm Subban/Zane McIntyre tandem in Providence.

“Tuukka looks good, and looks good in practice and healthy. So that’s reassuring,” said Cassidy. “[Anton Khudobin] I thought played very well in his game. He had the one unfortunate goal, but I thought he was rock-solid the rest of the game. He’s in very good shape and he’s practiced well, so he’s got a leg up on the other [goalies] based on his experience.

“We know that going in, but he’s going to get pushed. Zane [McIntyre] was good in a game, and Malcolm let in a couple where he could have been more aggressive. But it was a first game, so right now they all look good. That’s a good problem to have if they all push each other, but to get direct to the point Anton has done nothing to lose that backup spot.”

At this point, it would likely be McIntyre rather than Subban that would challenge for the NHL backup job if Khudobin did stumble at all in training camp or early in the regular season as he did last year. There will be no backup controversy, however, if the 31-year-old plays like he did in stopping 20-of-22 shots in Tuesday night’s win vs. the Red Wings or as he did going 6-1-0 with a .922 save percentage after the All-Star break last season.  

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