Crawford undergoes wrist surgery

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Crawford undergoes wrist surgery

Carl Crawford, who had hoped for a fresh start to his second season as a member of the Red Sox, has been dealt a setback.

Crawford, who had a highly disappointing first season after signing a 142 million free agent deal, will likely miss the start of the 2012 season after undergoing surgery on his left wrist Tuesday.

Ben Cherington, the Red Sox general manager, made the announcement Tuesday afternoon in a conference call with reporters.

"We're not ruling out Opening Day,'' said Cherington, "but we're not going to put a timeline on it. Carl will be ready exactly when he's ready and there's no one who works harder than Carl, so I''m confident he'll be back and playing soon. We just don't know exactly when.

"Carl will be progressing with baseball activities as we get into spring training and in a position to be our regular left fielder and in our lineup for the bulk of the regular season.''

He added that Crawford would resume hitting "at some point during spring training,'' and that he would be ready to rejoin the lineup "at some point early in the season.''

Cherington said Crawford experienced "soreness'' in the wrist earlier this month when the outfielder began to ramp up his hitting in preparation for spring training.

"It was consistent with some soreness Carl had periodically over the last couple of years,'' said Cherington, "but more concerning to Carl because of the time of year he was feeling it.''

He later underwent an MRI, which led to the procedure, which was performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan. Cherington described the procedure as "routine.''

"We feel like this is an opportunity for Carl to feel better,'' said Cherington, "and be healthier when he's recovered from this procedure, which we're confident he will recover from it, and go into the 2012 season with a fresh mind and confident that the wrist is feeling good and that he's in a position to be Carl Crawford.

"We think this time of the year is a lot better than the end of spring training. He's got a chance to do a lot of work and recover and be active for us for the majority of the season.''

After signing what was at the time the second-biggest deal in franchise history, Crawford began his first season in Boston poorly and never seemed to fully rebound.

He finished the year at .255 -- some 40 points off his career average before last year -- with an on-base percentage of .299 and a slugging percentage of .405.

He added 11 homers and knocked in 56 runs.

Crawford is the second Red Sox outfielder to undergo off-season surgery. Ryan Kalish underwent a second shoulder surgery in November, and like Crawford, won't be fully cleared at the start of spring training.

Nonetheless, Cherington said the Red Sox had sufficient outfield depth in the organization to withstand the injuries in the spring and beginning of the season.

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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