– Hornets’ G Eric Gordon (knee) is expected to begin practicing with the team next week. Despite the team being 11-34, Gordon is still trying to get some games under his belt before season’s end. He’s been out since January 4, meaning he’s going to need additional time to get back into game shape. Of course, there’s also the chance of a setback. If Gordon does return to game action two weeks from today, the Hornets will have 13 games left in the season.
– The Grizzlies are preparing to sign G Gilbert Arenas for the rest of the season, sources tell the Commercial Appeal. The Grizzlies put Arenas through a private workout Monday morning and he is taking a physical. If he passes, he’ll get the prorated veteran’s minimum ($300K). Arenas struggled last season with the Wizards and Magic, enduring knee problems for most of the season. He averaged 10.8 points per game on 36.6% shooting.
– Celtics’ F Jermaine O’Neal (right shooting wrist) will have season-ending surgery, according to the Boston Herald. The injury is to O’Neal’s shooting wrist, and the condition hasn’t improved without surgery. He appeared in 25 of the Celtics’ 44 games this season, averaging 5.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. O’Neal, 34 in October, will leave another gaping hole in the Celtics’ frontcourt.
– Royals’ RHP Joakim Soria’s (right elbow) MRI revealed damage in the UCL. The extent of the damage isn’t yet known and the Royals didn’t announce how they’ll proceed. Injuries to the UCL often require Tommy John surgery, though. Stay tuned.
– Padres’ OF Carlos Quentin (right knee) is expected to miss 4-6 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on Monday. Quentin, 29, had a meniscus tear repaired and loose cartilage removed.
– According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers “do not believe (RB Rashard Mendenhall) will be of much use” during the 2012 season. The Post-Gazette even suggests Mendenhall, who tore his right ACL on January 1, may have played his last down for the black and yellow. Mendenhall is entering a contract year, but if this report is true, his knee injury may be more severe than initially believed. Beat reporter Ed Bouchette added, “Sources told me that the Steelers will not count on Mendenhall returning to form until at least the 2013 season.”
– NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora reports that the 49ers’ 3-year/$24M contract offer remains on the table for free agent QB Alex Smith, and that the proposal has not been “lowered or revoked.” La Canfora also reports that team sources are “confident” Smith will re-sign with San Francisco. Smith’s visit with the Dolphins is simply him trying to gain leverage on the Niners. He’s expected to re-sign in San Fran.
– The Dolphins have released SS Yeremiah Bell. Bell was a starter in Miami for the past six years, but at age-34, his skills are diminishing. His release clears $4.3M in base salary off the books, and saves over $4M under the cap.
– Acording to Yahoo! Sports, F Alexander Radulov’s Russian agent Yuri Nikolaev confirmed the 25-year-old winger’s return on Monday, telling Pavel Lysenkov of Sovetsky Sport “the matter has been resolved within the framework of the Kontinental Hockey League regulations. Alexander is leaving for Nashville.” GM David Poile did not confirm the return, but released this statement:
“We have been in contact with Jay Grossman, Alexander’s agent, throughout this process of trying to return Alexander to the Predators and the NHL. Though the complicated process has yet to be concluded, every indication is that Alexander will be returning to Nashville in the near future. We do not anticipate having any further update on this process until tomorrow, at the earliest.”
Radulov left Nashville for the KHL’s Ufa Salavat Yulayev in 2008, despite having one year left on his entry-level contract. But if he plays just one game with the Predators this season, the NHL’s current CBA would allow him to fulfil the final season of that deal. He would then become a restricted free agent on July 1. According to Nikolaev, Radulov’s KHL team did not agree to terminate the existing contract and will retain his playing rights for next season. Radulov scored 25 goals and added 38 assists in 50 games with Ufa this season. He racked up 26 goals and 50 points with Nashville in the 2007-08 season, his last before returning to Russia. Originally selected in the first round (15th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Predators, Radulov has scored 44 goals and added 51 assists in 145 career NHL games.
– Flyers’ D Andrej Meszaros (back) will undergo surgery on Wednesday to remove a small disc fragment, and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks, effectively ending his season. The 26-year-old has been out since March 4 with the back injury, and has already missed nine games. Meszaros has seven goals and 25 points with a +6 rating in 62 games this season.
– Bruins’ F Rich Peverley (knee sprain) may return to practice with his team tomorrow. Peverley started skating on his own last week, and was on the ice at today’s morning’s skate. Head coach Claude Julien said,
“I think so, but today was non-contact. We’ll see what the medical experts tell us, as far as when he can take contact, or how much he can take contact, that’s why they’re called day-to-day. There’s no exact time for when he’s going to start playing again, but he’s looking better every day. There’s the rehab part of it he’s doing right now, so he started skating last Wednesday on his own and he’s progressed since. When you’re gone for that long, you don’t just come back over night. So we’re going to give him a chance and wait for our doctors to clear him.”
Peverley, who hasn’t played since February 15, and has missed 16 consecutive games.
“I think I’d be behind the eight ball for sure if I didn’t play some games. That’s the plan.”
– The Devils have signed G Scott Wedgewood, 19, to an entry-level contract. The 84th pick in the 2010 draft, Wedgewood spent the past four seasons with Plymouth (OHL), posting a 28-10-3 record with three shutouts, a 3.02 GAA and a .911 SV% in 43 games this season. He has a 61-39-5 mark with six shutouts in 122 regular-season contests. Wedgewood posted a 2-0-0 record in helping Canada earn a bronze medal at the 2012 World Junior Championships. He will attend his third training camp with the Devils in September.
– WWE.com reports John Cena has been cleared to compete on tonight’s Raw SuperShow after having been involved in a three-car accident in Philadelphia this morning. The SUV the WWE Superstar was traveling in was reportedly rear ended by a Honda Civic, which had been rear ended by a tractor trailer. Cena is “a little shaken up,” WWE physician Dr. Michael Sampson told WWE.com.
“They were whiplash-type injuries that he sustained. He feels good today, but then a couple days later, that’s when you get the neck stiffness and the pain. He is cleared to compete tonight. We’re going to let him go, but we’re definitely going to keep an eye on him. We’re going to check him right before his match one more time, just to make sure he’s okay.”
– Former WWE and TNA star Kevin Nash recently appeared on the One Sided Ring podcast hosted by Rob McNichol. Here are some highlights of what Nash said about:
Nash on a Possible TNA return: “I have a fifteen year old son, and at this point my son needs a Dad more than the world needs a wrestler. The thing that makes TNA work for me is that first of all I have way more friends there than in WWE. I made some friends once I came there – Punk and I got along well, me and Ziggler got along well and I got a chance to hang out with John Cena – but my crew of guys that are still in the business are more the TNA guys. It’s fifty miles from my house. I can drive over there; I don’t have to get on a plane. I can put my gear in the trunk, drop the top on my convertible and be over there and do it. It was always a really easy travel day for me. I enjoyed being down there. I also part of a lot of the young guys – AJ, Eric Young, Bobby Roode – in their early stages of development. Now these guys are becoming stars. I’m not saying I wouldn’t go back. If they had something for me and they needed me, I would go back and do it. Right now I’m starting to get bored!”
What TNA needs to get to the next level: “I think it would take a couple of major players. It would take a CM Punk. He would be a changer for them. He’s an edgy guy, and if he made that jump that would be a huge piece of the pie. Or it would need a Dwayne or a Cena. And those guys aren’t going anywhere. I would hate to say ‘never say never’ because if you had told me during our run with WCW that at one point we’d be out there in WWE, I’d have been like ‘What?’ Never say never – crazier things have happened. TNA have gone from TNA to Impact Wrestling, which is a brand change. I think they are going in the right direction, as long as TNA continues to make it different. I watch both shows. I like the breakaway feel TNA has, where it feels grittier.”
John Cena vs Rock: “People love John Cena. There’s a reason John Cena sells the most merchandise. I love the fact that he has not once wavered his character, he’s kept his character completely. That’s so hard to do nowadays. To be that beacon of honesty, respect loyalty – to do that in our society is so hard to do and to have any sort of cool factor. He’s been able to pull it off and I think that’s because he hasn’t wavered. It’s a testament to him. The WWE needs The Rock a lot more than The Rock needs WWE. Dwayne opens up number one almost every time he opens up at the box office. He’s in such high demand in Hollywood. He is the guy right now. He’s done over a billion dollars in motion picture revenue. I saw him come out at Survivor Series and I hadn’t seen Dwayne in quite some time. I was at the monitor and I said to one of the guys, ‘He looks better than his character in the video game!’”