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09/23/2011 - 12:19pm
Chara relieved injury wasn't serious
By: DJ Bean

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara considers himself fortunate that the puck that hit him on the inside of the leg Monday didn't do any real damage. Chara was hit by the puck as a teammate tried to clear it in the neutral zone in practice, and the big defenseman had to leave the ice with a contusion on his left leg. After taking the next day off, he returned to practice Wednesday and is set to make his preseason debut Friday vs. the Islanders. 

"I'm very glad that it wasn't [serious]," Chara said. "Obviously, it's something that you'll worry about when it does happen, but I was pleased in a good way that it wasn't as bad as it looked. It took all the necessary steps to make sure it was nothing major. It isn't, so we'll have to still treat it. Nothing really major."

Chara will continue to monitor the leg, though he doesn't expect to miss any more time.

"You have to do different things," he said. "Obviously,...

09/23/2011 - 12:13pm
Pats practice: Chung back with cast

FOXBORO -- With a cast protecting his right wrist and thumb, Patrick Chung returned to practice on Friday as the Patriots worked out in shorts and shells on the main Gillette Stadium field. 

Chung reportedly had surgery earlier this week to place a pin in his thumb following an injury during Sunday's win over the Chargers. He missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday before returning Friday. 

Missing from the start of practice on Friday were Albert Haynesworth (back), Dan Gronkowski (hamstring), Mike Wright (concussion), Sebastian Vollmer (back) and Aaron Hernandez (knee). All five of those players all missed practice Wednesday and Thursday. The Patriots look for their 16th straight win over the Bills when they travel to Orchard Park, N.Y. for Sunday's game. 

For more, visit the Patriots team page at weei.com/patriots and the blog It Is What...

09/23/2011 - 11:42am
Pats' Carter fined $15K for Rivers hit

FOXBORO -- Patriots defensive end Andre Carter was informed Friday that he was fined $15,000 for his hit on Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers on Sunday. 

Carter was flagged 15 yards for roughing the passer for his hit on the first play of San Diego's first drive of the second quarter. Carter hit Rivers as he released the ball but was penalized for what was deemed to be driving the quarterback into the turf.

"There was a FedEx in the mail," Carter said. "I thought I was home free but there ended up being a nice little letter on my seat. I kind of knew what it was. I opened it up and wound up being fined.

"When you go towards the quarterback and you're kind of in that no-man's land, you have to take a shot. It wasn't necessarily dirty, it's just that what defensive ends and defensive players thrive off of, especially when it comes to harrassing the quarterback, getting that pressure. That's the way I look at it....

09/23/2011 - 8:12am
McCourty: Bills have 'reason to be confident'

Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning.

The Patriots are expected to be without injured safety Patrick Chung Sunday when they visit the Bills.

"That happens in a season," McCourty said. "I think we're prepared for him not to be out there. Guys have to step up. He's played a lot of plays early in the season for us. It will be a little different without him. But I'm excited to see guys get that opportunity to step up and play well come Sunday."

The Bills come in with a 2-0 record, but McCourty said that's not a big surprise to those who paid attention in 2010 when Buffalo showed signs of improvement despite a 4-12 record.

"I think a lot of people really didn't pay attention to last year," he said. "Those guys were making plays, especially offensively, and doing things. They got a few different guys in there, some personnel changes...

09/23/2011 - 7:53am
Mashup: Beaten Giants fan Stow speaks

Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who was beaten outside of Dodger Stadium at Opening Day, has shown dramatic improvement this week. Stow's family posted an update on its website and indicated he spoke his name asked to see his children. "We are blown away with all of this," the family said. "Literally one day we got some facial responses and the next, he's talking. His voice is gravelly and you have to close to hear him, but he is talking." The 42-year-old paramedic remains in serious condition at San Francisco General Hospital.

Read more about that story and others — including an item about a Marlins reliever who apparently has been playing under a fake identity -- plus check out videos, trivia and more, at Friday's Morning Mashup.


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