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.

Butler earns praise from Belichick, Patricia after wire-to-wire performance

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Butler earns praise from Belichick, Patricia after wire-to-wire performance

FOXBORO -- Malcolm Butler left Sunday's win over the Texans feeling pretty good about himself. One week after being relegated to the No. 3 corner role on the Patriots defense, he played every snap and allowed just two catches for 10 yards.

“I think I’m building,” Butler said afterward. “I think I’m taking it a step at a time. There’s a lot of football to be played, so whatever you see, judge me.”

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And we have. There was the pass-interference penalty in Week 1. There was the botched pick-play coverage with Patrick Chung in Week 2. But even with those mishaps mixed in, Butler's energy and effort did not seem to wane on film.

He caught Chiefs speedster Tyreek Hill for a tackle from behind to prevent a first down in the season-opener. Against the Saints, his hard pass breakup on top Saints wideout Michael Thomas was a bright spot for the Patriots secondary.

In Week 3, that effort was there again. Targeted twice while in coverage on DeAndre Hopkins, Butler did well to jam Hopkins at the line of scrimmage and then limit the game's highest-paid receiver to zero yards after the catch.

When asked about Butler on Tuesday's conference calls, both Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia struck tones that were strikingly different than the ones that made headlines when discussing Butler the week prior.

"Yeah, I think Malcolm did a good job," Belichick said. "I mean, all of our defensive backs I thought were pretty competitive. We had some scramble yardage and loose plays and things like that. But I mean, the normal passing game we were pretty competitive on. But like anything else, there are certainly a lot of things we can do better."

That goes for Butler, too, who admitted last week that he hadn't been playing up to his standards.

On one of those scramble-drill plays Belichick referenced, Deshaun Watson found tight end Ryan Griffin for a 35-yard gain, which included several yards after the catch when Butler was among the defenders who missed the chance to try to wrestle Griffin to the ground.

There were occasions though -- like Watson's first-quarter third-down scramble that Butler helped to stop, forcing the Texans to kick a field goal -- when Butler's want-to was evident.

"I thought Malcolm played really well," Patricia said. "We certainly didn’t play great at all as a defense. I’m not saying that but I think the guy really tried to go out and play extremely hard. 

"This is a very competitive guy. Malcolm steps up to the challenges that you place in front of him. He goes out and competes, he works hard, he tries to do it the right way and he really tries to get better every week. Look, we had a productive week last week for him and working through. But it’s a new week and we’re going to try to get the same consistency every single week and that’s what we’re trying to do."

A week ago, when asked about Butler's performance, Belichick and Patricia weren't quite as glowing.

"I don’t think anybody’s performance this season is really where it needs to be or where it will be," Belichick said at the time. "We all need to do a better job."

"I think with Malcolm, he’s kind of in a boat with everybody else," Patricia said. "We’re trying to get better."

Part of the reason Butler may have been relied upon as much as he was could have been due to the fact that fellow corner Eric Rowe -- who started in Week 2 opposite Stephon Gilmore -- was inactive with a groin injury. 

How Butler will factor in against the Panthers in Week 4 remains to be seen, but if his work against the Texans improved his confidence, then that would seem to benefit the Patriots defense as a whole. 

"Things that we're confident in," Belichick said, "we do more aggressively, we do quicker, we do with probably better overall execution than things we're not confident in . . . 

"It’s a fine line there between confidence and overconfidence and taking it for granted, as opposed to just being right in that sweet spot of having an edge, having confidence, being alert and aggressive."

Report: Dwyane Wade close to reuniting with LeBron James in Cleveland

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Report: Dwyane Wade close to reuniting with LeBron James in Cleveland

The LeBron James-Dwyane Wade reunion is happening in Cleveland.

Wade, 35, who won two championships with James with the Miami Heat, is "nearing a commitment" to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported. 

Wade, bought out by the Chicago Bulls after one underwhelming season in a return to his hometown, will clear waivers Wednesday, become an unrestricted free agent and can sign for the $2.3 million veterans minimum with the Cavs. 

Wojnarowski reported that Wade considered offers from the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and a return to Miami, where he won two titles with James in 2012 and '13 and one with Shaquille O'Neal in 2006. 

The Cavs, of course, have remade James' supporting cast significantly since reaching the NBA Finals for the third consecutive season in June. 

Kyrie Irving was traded to the Celtics in a deal that sent Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder to Cleveland. Thomas' injured hip is expected to keep him from playing until January, giving Wade, who averaged 18 points for the Bulls last season and 23.3 points, 5.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds in his career, an opportunity for more minutes.