Sox star headed for Tommy John surgery?

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Sox star headed for Tommy John surgery?

From Comcast SportsNet
NEW YORK (AP) -- Carl Crawford appears to be headed for season-ending surgery on his left elbow. The Boston Red Sox said Sunday they planned to meet and decide the following day whether the left fielder will have Tommy John surgery. Citing an anonymous source, ESPN reported hours later that Crawford is expected to have the operation Tuesday. Crawford has been playing with pain since coming off the disabled list last month. He has said he's been told he will need Tommy John surgery at some point to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm. "Carl's given it everything he has. From everything I gather, the elbow situation is kind of trending in the wrong way," manager Bobby Valentine said Sunday night after a 4-1 loss to the New York Yankees. Crawford went 1 for 4 with a ninth-inning single, perhaps his final at-bat of the year. The Red Sox are off Monday. "We'll take that time to talk with Carl and the doctors and kind of get to the bottom of this entire situation," Valentine said before the game. Asked if the discussion would be about whether Crawford needs surgery at all or simply when he should have it, general manager Ben Cherington said: "A little of both." If he has the ligament-replacement surgery, it's estimated Crawford could return to the lineup six to nine months later. The fourth-place Red Sox are 59-63, leaving them 13 12 games behind the first-place Yankees in the AL East and 7 12 out in the wild-card race. "We'll focus the decision more on what's best for Carl," Cherington said. "What gives him the best chance to be the player that we know he can be for the longest period of time. "We've known surgery is a possibility if the symptoms didn't go away," the first-year GM added. "These conversations have been going on for months now. We know what the issue is." Crawford was a major disappointment last season, his first with Boston after signing a 142 million, seven-year contract. He missed the first 89 games of this season while recovering from left wrist surgery. He partially tore his elbow ligament in April while rehabbing, slowing his return. Crawford was activated from the disabled list July 16 and is batting .282 with three homers and 19 RBIs. He has 10 doubles and 13 extra-base hits in August. "He's played a lot and he's got a real injury," Cherington said. "He's played well. To his credit, he's played through this for the team." Crawford batted second and played left field Sunday night against Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda. "He's probably undergoing surgery, right? It's not good. But you've got to do what you've got to do to be ready next year," injured teammate David Ortiz said. "You've got to take care of yourself. If you are injured, you're injured. Nobody gets Tommy John (surgery) because it's fun. Tommy John (surgery) is a tough process and he needs one because he needs one. If I'm him, I would do exactly what he's doing, taking care of it." NOTES: RHP John Lackey, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, threw 45 pitches in the bullpen. "I was very impressed with what I saw," said Valentine, who did not rule out the possibility of Lackey pitching in the majors this season. Cherington said he fully expects Lackey will pitch in a "competitive environment" before the season ends, but that doesn't necessarily mean a big league game. ... Cherington said demoted RHP Daniel Bard will be back in the big leagues this year and the team will talk in the offseason about whether he should be used as a starter or reliever going forward. ... Minor league pitcher Brian Johnson was released from the hospital and Cherington said the left-hander was doing well after he was hit in the face with a line drive Saturday during the Future Games at Fenway Park. Johnson, a first-round draft pick in June, sustained multiple orbital bone fractures on the left side of his face, but there were no signs of a concussion.

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Will the Celtics part with the right to Brooklyn’s 2017 first-round pick in order to get a star before Thursday’s trade deadline? 

MORE TRADE TALK

Citing a pair of NBA executives, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote this week that Danny Ainge’s willingness to trade the pick should be in doubt.

Sola named Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Paul George as potential targets, adding that the C’s might include the latter.   

Wrote Isola: 

Two executives doubt that Ainge, who historically plays it close to the vest, would give up the Nets pick in a deal for Butler. However, Ainge might consider it in a trade for George, the Pacers-free agent-to-be who has expressed doubts over re-signing with the Pacers.

‘With Danny, no one ever knows what he might do,' said the executive. ‘He's one of the best. If he thinks he can make a run at the Cavs this season, considering all the injuries Cleveland has had, I can see him making a move.

‘Everyone is talking about Butler to Boston but Danny and Larry Bird go way back. Paul George could be the sleeper.’

This season, the 26-year-old George is averaging 22.3 points 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game. 

Blount on free agency: 'I definitely want to go back to New England'

Blount on free agency: 'I definitely want to go back to New England'

LeGarrette Blount knows where he wants to be for 2017. Ever since he re-joined the Patriots in 2014 following a short stay in Pittsburgh, the 250-pound back has been very open about how he wants to play out the rest of his career in New England. 

Those feelings haven't changed, even as he faces free-agency after having recorded the best season of his seven-year career.

"I just want to make sure that I go to this free agency with an open mind, knowing that I definitely want to go back to New England," he told NFL Total Access on Monday. "I love it there. I love the culture. I love the players. I've become close with a lot of the guys. Obviously you know how my running back group is.

"We'll cross that bridge whenever we cross it. On that point, I feel great. I'm in amazing shape. I feel like I could play 100 more years if I have to."

Blount finished 2016 with career-highs in attempts (299) yards (1,161) and touchowns (18). His ability to help the Patriots close games in the fourth quarter was notable throughout the course of the season, and he was among the most effective goal-line backs in the league. His 18 rushing scores are a franchise record.

Toward the end of the season, as Dion Lewis worked his way back into the Patriots offense, Blount had his workload cut into, and his fumble in the Super Bowl was a near-catastrophic moment -- his devastated reaction to which was caught expertly by NFL Films. But a big-picture view of Blount's year would reveal that he  posted the most prodictive "big back" season the Patriots have had in more than a decade.

Blount signed a one-year deal with the Patriots last offseason after seeing his 2015 prematurely ended by way of a hip injury. He turned 30 in December.