Jimmy Rollins' Words on Ryan Howard Are Alarming

Jimmy Rollins' Words on Ryan Howard Are Alarming

It's not a great situation. The Phillies infield is not the behemoth it once was, not with all the injuries they're battling through at least. ESPN's Jayson Stark takes a closer look at the unit that once dominated the National League and wonders if they ever will again.

Stark spoke at length with the only Phillies starting infielder who is healthy this spring, the loquacious Jimmy Rollins who shared a pretty damn bleak assessment of Howard's situation.

ON HOWARD: "I don't know what to think, honestly," Rollins says. "If you
ask me, with this infection, I don't know if he's going to play this
year, because after all the work that he's done, now he's got to hit the
reset button."

...

"Oh, he's definitely out for two months. I can pretty much guarantee you
that," Rollins says. "And probably nothing before the All-Star break,
unless it's like Albert Pujols' fracture [which magically healed itself
in two weeks last summer]."

...

"Over the long term, [he'll] … be fine," Rollins says. "But that's where
'long term' is meaning, like, a year and a half. That's when he'll do
something and he'll say, 'You know what? That didn't bother me.' And
that's when you know you're fine, and you can go out there every single
day and not have to worry about it."

/starts to worry
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support iframes.
Jimmy! Why do you have to do this to us Phillies fans. Or perhaps Young James is just trying to get us to see reality.

It's also worth noting that J-Roll didn't become a Doctor over the summer and that the Phillies do not agree with his assessment. But he has had his fair share of leg injuries and knows his Big Piece pretty well.

Howard was in the dugout for his first spring training game this afternoon and spoke with reporters about where he stands. Does he have any idea when he thinks he'll be ready to return to regular season action? Jim Salisbury has that story:

"I don’t know. It all depends on how the skin heals and then as far
as the progression of trying to pick back up where I was,” Howard said.
“I’m going to try to stay optimistic and see what happens, but like I’ve
said before, there’s really no time limit on it. Once it’s 100 percent
we’ll go from there."

And we haven't even discussed Chase Utley yet.

>>Phillies infield shift: Jimmy Rollins is healthy, but Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are hurting [ESPN]

>>Phils Howard says don't worry about the boot [CSN]

Flyers reveal 2017 Stadium Series jerseys

Flyers reveal 2017 Stadium Series jerseys

Back in black.

The Flyers on Saturday morning revealed their 2017 Stadium Series jerseys for their Feb. 25 outdoor game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Heinz Field.

With their 50th anniversary sweaters resembling their current away jerseys with gold outlining throughout, the Flyers have gone back to black and orange for the outdoor game.

The jersey is almost all black, with an orange name plate and an orange elbow stripe. Orange is sprinkled throughout the jersey.

In addition to the outdoor game, the Flyers will also wear the jersey against the Penguins on March 15 at the Wells Fargo Center, a Wednesday Night Rivalry game.

Pittsburgh unveiled its Stadium Series jersey back on Nov. 25, an all gold uniform in celebration of its 50th season.

Best of NBA: Rockets overcome Russell Westbrook's 7th straight triple-double

Best of NBA: Rockets overcome Russell Westbrook's 7th straight triple-double

OKLAHOMA CITY -- James Harden scored 21 points, and the Houston Rockets overcame Russell Westbrook's seventh consecutive triple-double to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 102-99 on Friday night.

Harden also had 12 assists and nine rebounds to help the Rockets win their fifth straight. Houston withstood Harden's 6-for-23 shooting effort.

Westbrook finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He has the longest triple-double streak since Michael Jordan had seven straight in 1989. The most in a row is nine by Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain in March 1968.

It was Westbrook's 12th triple-double this season and the 49th of his career. He is the NBA's active leader in the category and ranks sixth all-time.

The Thunder had won the previous six games during Westbrook's triple-double binge (see full story).

James moves into 9th on scoring list as Cavs top Heat
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 27 points to move into ninth place on the NBA scoring list, and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Miami Heat 114-84 on Friday night.

James passed Elvin Hayes on a driving layup with 6:58 remaining and has 27,315 career points. The four-time MVP was removed about a minute later and received a loud ovation from the Cleveland crowd.

Kevin Love, a game-time decision because of back spasms, scored a team-high 28 points and had 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers. He missed the morning shootaround but was in the lineup after warming up on the court about an hour before tip-off.

Kyrie Irving added 23 points for the Cavs, who have won three straight after losing three in a row.

Derrick Williams scored 17 points to lead the short-handed Heat, who have lost four straight (see full story). 

Schroder has career-high 33, Hawks rally past Bucks
MILWAUKEE -- Dennis Schroder scored a career-high 33 points and the Atlanta Hawks rallied from 20 down in the second half to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-110 on Friday night.

Paul Millsap had 23 points and 14 rebounds for Atlanta. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18.

The Hawks, who ended a seven-game losing streak Wednesday with a win over Miami, trailed by 20 at halftime. A 40-point third quarter put them back in the game.

Jabari Parker scored 27 for Milwaukee. Giannis Antetokounmpo, in foul trouble throughout the game, had 14.

Atlanta pulled ahead 105-103 on Kyle Korver's jumper with 3:15 remaining, giving the Hawks their first lead since early in the game (see full story).