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03/03/2012 - 5:44pm
Gonzalez talks shoulder, Crawford comeback

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After kicking off his spring training with a three-run home run in the Red Sox' exhibition game against Northeastern, Saturday at JetBlue Park, Adrian Gonzalez proclaimed his right shoulder "100 percent," and said he is playing with no limitations this spring.

"My shoulder, I've been saying it all along, feels great," Gonzalez said. "It's 100 percent and I've been able to get that high finish and do everything I want to do when I'm at the plate. So I'm happy about that."

Gonzalez explained that he is in a much better place this spring compared to last March, when he didn't get into a game until March 12.

"This year I'm definitely more relaxed," he said. "I feel better overall and I'm not rehabbing, I'm not getting acquainted with new people and going through all that stuff. It's a pretty big difference from last year to this year."

Gonzalez offered some insight as...

03/03/2012 - 5:28pm
UPDATE: Rask, Ference won't make trip
By: DJ Bean

Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask left Saturday's game against the Islanders with an apparent lower-body injury suffered in the second period. Neither nor injured defenseman Andrew Ference will make the team's upcoming two-game road trip to New York and Toronto, coach Claude Julien said after the game. 

According to the Patriot Ledger's Mike Loftus, Rask left TD Garden on crutches. 

The Bruins recalled Providence goaltender Michael Hutchinson and forward Lane MacDermid. Julien did not offer an update on Daniel Paille, who left the game after getting tripped by Steve Staios, but the MacDermid callup is seemingly to fill Paille's spot should the fourth-liner be unable to go. 

Rask hurt himself stretching out to make a save on Islanders forward Matt Martin. He went down after the play, at which point defenseman Joe Corvo got the attention of the officials and the play was blown dead. Rask remained down on the ice while examined by...

03/03/2012 - 4:40pm
Rask-less Bruins fall to Islanders
By: DJ Bean

The Bruins lost more than a winnable game against a non-playoff team Saturday, as they lost goaltender Tuukka Rask to injury and fell to the Islanders, 3-2, at TD Garden. 

Rask left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury and was replaced by Tim Thomas. For more on the injury, click here

The Bruins got on the board in the first period when Milan scored on the power play, a goal assisted by Brian Rolston for the veteran forward's first point since returning to the Bruins. The Islanders tied it late in the first on a Josh Bailey goal. 

After Thomas took over for Rask in the second period, Matt Moulson gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead on the power play. Tyler Seguin tied the game 7:29 into the third period, but the Islanders would regain the lead in the final five minutes on John Taveres' 26th of the...

03/03/2012 - 4:12pm
C's expect Allen back vs. Knicks

WALTHAM – The Celtics will at least have one, if not both, of their recently sidelined guards back in action for their showdown Sunday afternoon against Jeremy Lin and the Knicks.

Following the Celtics' walk-through on Saturday afternoon, Doc Rivers said Ray Allen (who missed Friday's win over the Nets due to illness) is probable to return to the lineup against New York. Meanwhile, after Rivers initially said Avery Bradley was doubtful because of a mild ankle sprain suffered in Friday night's win, Bradley said on Saturday that he will definitely playing. Neither guard participated in Saturday's practice.

“I think [Allen] is probable, but again he is still not feeling great,” Rivers said. “They think he is no longer contagious.”

Bradley admitted that there had been some swelling in his ankle, but that it had subsided to the point where he had no doubts about the fact that he would be on the court on Sunday.

...
03/03/2012 - 2:13pm
Valentine: Sweeney, Ross platoon not certain

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Speaking before his team's first spring training game at JetBlue Park against Northeastern Saturday, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said that a platoon in right field with Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ross once Carl Crawford is healthy shouldn't be assumed.

"When the game starts that might be exactly the way it works, so they understand where they are. But as the game progresses, when I say strict platoons, if it’s the fifth inning and we’re up 5-0 and they bring in a left-hander I expect Sweeney to hit," he said. "When they bring in a right-hander I expect Ross to hit. If it’s one of  those situations where one guy should be resting regardless of who’s pitching the next day, that guy will probably rest." 

The subject came up when talking about Sweeney, a left-handed hitter who has shown little power despite an athletic 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame. The 27-year-old has never hit more...

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