Review Category : National Sports

Paul George to Return Sunday

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(INDIANA) — Paul George has chosen Easter Sunday to make his comeback from a gruesome leg injury suffered in August.

George announced via Instagram on Saturday morning that he intends to make his season debut in the Pacers’ home game Sunday night against the Heat.

The Pacers announced that George, coach Frank Vogel and team doctor Tim Hupfer will meet with the media Saturday after practice to talk about the All-Star’s planned return.

“The recovery has been a long process and this is another step in the process,” George said in a statement released by the team. “I thank everyone, my family, friends, doctors, our training staff, coaches, the entire Pacers family for their support and encouragement. I’m excited, but at the same time I’m aware I’m still in a rehab stage and will continue to work to get back to full strength.”

George has been sidelined since fracturing his right tibia and fibula in a fall while playing in a USA Basketball intrasquad scrimmage in Las Vegas on Aug. 1.

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Twins Pitcher Ervin Santana Suspended 80 Games for PEDs

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Minnesota Twins pitcher Ervin Santana has been suspended for 80 games without pay after testing positive for stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance, the team announced on Friday.

Santana released a statement through the players’ union and said he did not know how the substance got into his body.

“I preach hard work, and don’t believe in short cuts,” Santana said. “I am very disappointed that I tested positive for a performance enhancing drug. I am frustrated that I can’t pinpoint how the substance in question entered my body. I would never knowingly take anything illegal to enhance my performance.”

Santana was 14-10 with a 3.95 ERA for the Braves last year and signed with Minnesota during the offseason.

“One thing that players know is adversity is a huge part of our game, and this is obviously something that no one really saw coming,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “So I just tried to assure them that I believe in the group that we have, and we will deal with it in the best possible way that we possibly can. It doesn’t change how I expect us to compete.”

Santana was scheduled to pitch the second game of the season for Minnesota.

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Sim Bhullar Embracing Opportunity

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — The Sacramento Kings signed 7-foot-5, 360 pound center Sim Bhullar to a 10-day contract and made NBA history in the process on Friday.

Bhullar is the first NBA player of Indian descent and is embracing this opportunity.

“It’s a big moment in the history of the NBA and the history of my country,” Bhullar said on Friday before their game against the Pelicans.

“It’s been all support,” Bhullar continued. “I haven’t seen one negative comment or anything. I’m enjoying the ride right now, it’s a great feeling.”

Bhullar did not play in the game due to head coach George Karl’s decision, but Bhullar will get another opportunity against Utah on Sunday.

“I’m just enjoying it right now. I don’t feel any pressure at all. I know there’s a lot of people — probably a billion people — that will be watching the game. I’m just going to enjoy my time on the court and have fun right now,” Bhullar said.

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Redskins Trade for Dashon Goldson

NFL via Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have traded safety Dashon Goldson to the Washington Redskins for a sixth-round draft pick in 2016.

Goldson began his career with the San Francisco 49ers, and was selected to the Pro Bowl following the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The Bucs signed Goldson to a five-year, $41 million contract in 2013, but he never quite lived up to his billing with Tampa Bay, which also sent a 2016 seventh-round draft pick to the Redskins in the deal.

Goldson issued a series of statements on Twitter to fans of both the Bucs and Redskins.

“To Buc Nation, I’m sorry things didn’t workout the way we both wanted them to,” Goldson said. “… I’ve learned a lot in the 2 yrs spent there and it has been an honor to be part of the Buc nation, to play for the buccaneers and share my time with the community.”

Goldson is the 10th former Pro Bowler traded this offseason, among them LeSean McCoy, Brandon Marshall and Jimmy Graham.

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Report: NFL To Hire First Female Official

NFL(NEW YORK) — The NFL is set to hire its first full-time female official according to a tweet from the Baltimore Sun.

Sarah Thomas, a former Conference USA official, is set to join a group of eight new members of the NFL’s referee group, first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

“The thing is, I’ve never set out to be the first, and that hasn’t changed,” said Thomas, who first started officiating football games in 1996. “I do this because I love it.”

In 2012, Shannon Eastin, who was a member of the replacement officials the NFL employed while the regular officials were locked out, became the first woman of officiate a regular season game.

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Josh Freeman Signs One-Year Deal With Dolphins

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(MIAMI, Fl.) — The Miami Dolphins have signed quarterback Josh Freeman to a one-year deal

Freeman spent all of the 2014 season out of football, a decision he felt was best because, “personally, during the year, I felt it was better to let things cool down because it was a pretty rocky year the previous year.”

After being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers midway through the 2013 season, Freeman signed with the Minnesota Vikings, started one game and was let go in the offseason. He signed with the New York Giants, but was released again before the 2014 season.

Through the team website, Freeman stated:

“I feel like they have a really strong direction in their organization from a leadership standpoint,” Freeman said in an interview at the Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University. “I’m familiar with Dennis Hickey and a number of staff members. (I was) in there with (quarterbacks coach) Zac Taylor and Coach (Bill) Lazor. We were in there talking about the offense and the direction. Also the conversations I had with Coach (Joe) Philbin were pretty awesome. I think it will be a great fit.”

Freeman was drafted in 2009 by the Buccaneers where Hickey, the Dolphins general manager, served as Director of College Scouting for Tampa Bay.

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Angels Prez Says Hamilton Non-Suspension “Defies Logic”

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(ANAHEIM, Ca.) — An independent arbitrator has ruled that Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton cannot be suspended by Major League Baseball after his latest relapse with cocaine and alcohol.

MLB said in a statement it “will seek to address deficiencies in the manner in which drugs of abuse are addressed under the program in the collective-bargaining process.”

The Angels released a statement after the ruling, saying they will support Hamilton:

“The Angels have serious concerns about Josh’s conduct, health and behavior and we are disappointed that he has broken an important commitment which he made to himself, his family, his teammates and our fans. We are going to do everything possible to assure he receives proper help for himself and for the well-being of his family

Afterwards, Angel’s team president John Carpino and general manager Jerry Dipoto agreed with MLB and announced they were disappointed in the ruling of the arbitrator.

“It defies logic that Josh’s reported behavior is not a violation of his drug program,” Carpino said Friday.

Hamilton will start the season on the disabled list as he rehabs from offseason shoulder surgery.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 4/3/15

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — NBA: Indiana Pacers 93 (33-43) – Charlotte Hornets 74 (32-43)

Washington Wizards 101 (43-33) – New York Knicks 87 (14-62)

Milwaukee Bucks 110 (38-38) – Boston Celtics 101 (34-42)

Brooklyn Nets 114 (35-40) – Toronto Raptors 109 (45-31)

Orlando Magic 97 (23-53) – Minnesota Timberwolves 84 (16-60)

Chicago Bulls 88 (46-30) – Detroit Pistons 82 (29-47)

Memphis Grizzlies 100 (52-24) – Oklahoma City Thunder 92 (42-34)

San Antonio Spurs 123 (50-26) – Denver Nuggets 93 (28-48)

New Orleans Pelicans 101 (41-34) – Sacramento Kings 95 (26-49)

Portland Trail Blazers 107 (49-26) – Los Angeles Lakers 77 (20-55)

NHL: New Jersey Devils 3 (32-33-13, 77 pts) – Montreal Canadiens 2 (47-22-10, 104 pts) *F/SO

Chicago Blackhawks 4 (48-24-6, 102 pts) – Buffalo Sabres 3 (22-48-8, 52 pts)

St. Louis Blues 7 (48-23-7, 103 pts) – Dallas Stars 5 (37-31-10, 84 pts)

Colorado Avalanche 4 (36-30-12, 84pts) – Anaheim Ducks 2 (50-23-7, 107 pts)

San Jose Sharks 3 (39-30-9, 87pts) – Arizona Coyotes 1 (23-47-8, 54pts)

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Tiger Woods: ‘I’m Playing in the Masters’

Scott Halleran/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Tiger Woods will be playing at next week’s Masters Tournament, he announced on Friday after practicing for the second time at Augusta National this week.

Woods has spent the last eight weeks working on his golf game and is looking forward to playing in the tournament that he missed last year.

“I’m playing in the Masters,” Tiger said on his website Friday afternoon. “It’s obviously very important to me, and I want to be there.”

“I’ve worked a lot on my game and I’m looking forward to competing,” Woods continued. “I’m excited to get to Augusta and I appreciate everyone’s support.”

The Masters will announce their groupings on Tuesday.

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Matt Harvey’s Ready for the Regular Season

Norm Hall/Getty Images(JUPITER, Fla.) — New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey is looking forward to the regular season after making his final start of the spring on Thursday.

Harvey had a 1.19 ERA and walked only one batter in 22 2/3 innings of work after coming back from Tommy John surgery.

“I’m ready to go,” Harvey said Thursday, as the Mets prepared to break camp. “All the work’s been put in, and it’s time to just let all that loose.”

“You hear stories of guys who have trouble with command coming back,” Harvey continued. “That was something that I really worked on. Obviously you never know until you start facing hitters and get into a game.”

“Everything feels great, as it has all spring training,” Harvey added. “I don’t think there’s much more to accomplish. …Looking back, I’m obviously pretty pleased with how things went. Everything felt good from day one. I’m happy with how it ended and obviously ready for the season and excited to get going.”

Harvey will face Stephen Strasburg on Thursday in Washington.

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