Ryan Madson to Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Miss Season

Ryan Madson to Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Miss Season

You never want to hear this kind of news about a pitcher, let alone a guy whose entire career is predicated on the drastic difference between his fastball and change-up.
John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (via MLBTradeRumors) is reporting that a ligament in Ryan Madson's right arm has been torn off the bone. The injury has Madson opting for Tommy John surgery, which, of course, will force him to miss the 2012 season.
Madson had been suffering from a sore pitching elbow throughout spring training, though it's now apparent he was dealing with more than the average aches and pains so common for pitchers in March.
The timing of this injury could not be worse for Madson, who failed to lock down a multi-year contract in free agency last year and, instead, opted for a one-year, $8.5 million deal with the Reds so as to potentially test the market anew next season.
Rather than lobbying for the Jonathan Papelbon money he was reportedly shooting for this past winter, Madson will be negotiating his next contract as a pitcher coming off major surgery.
As for the team he's spent his entire career with, it's difficult to say whether Madson would have suffered this same fate had he worked out a deal with the Phils. In that sense, Buster Olney perhaps puts it best:

Lucky being the operative and (as we'll have to wait and see with Papelbon) relative word.
If there's good news, it's that pitchers coming off successful Tommy John surgeries can and have retained their pre-surgery velocity. The bad news, obviously, is that Madson's UCL is damaged. The hope, in this case, is that the surgery can repair the ligament to the point that any potential decreases in arm strength would come over time, as they naturally would, rather than being expedited.
Good luck in the recovery, Mad Dog. Be well.

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

NEW ORLEANS — Nerlens Noel made another step toward his return from arthroscopic left knee surgery by joining the Sixers in New Orleans for their game against the Pelicans.

Noel arrived on Wednesday with Robert Covington, who is slated to start after missing the last three games with a left knee sprain. Noel is not cleared to play, but Brown doesn’t think it will be long until he suits up. 

“I don’t think far away,” Brown said of Noel’s regular season debut after shootaround.

When asked about the possibility of Noel playing this weekend when the Sixers face the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit, Brown replied, “Maybe.” 

Noel has missed the entire regular season recovering from elective surgery for an inflamed plica in October. He completed the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Ala. and has been continuing his work with the Sixers. This trip to New Orleans is the first time he has been with the Sixers on the road. 

“[He is] integrating with the team, studying a lot of tape, scripting with his teammates with the understanding that we have a chance to see him soon,” Brown said. “All that trying to ramp it up where he can go to an NBA court more comfortably.”

Noel spoke out about his displeasure with the Sixers crowded frontcourt at the start of the preseason. He recently stuck with his stance, saying, “I don’t think the roster’s changed.”

Brown is working to keep the team moving forward as a unit while still being aware of and recognizing Noel’s perspective. 

“It does,” Brown said when asked if Noel’s open frustration concerns him as it pertains to team cohesiveness. “But I feel like it’s so much a part of what we try do around here that it’s not like you’re going to blink and you’ve forgotten something that equals camaraderie, that equals team, that equals trying to keep this together, and you’ve left it for a week … 

“It’s a day-to-day focus for me and it’s a very candid conversation with me and the player. The team hears it, the individual hears it, we all understand it … We need to coexist and we need to understand the reality of it all, too. There’s a human side you understand. It’s also pride, it’s competitiveness, it’s do your job, it’s nothing is given, you’ve got to take stuff, draw your own line in the sand, competitors rule the day.”

Last season Noel averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. The Sixers will look forward to having him back on the court in that once-crowded frontcourt that is now shorthanded. Jahlil Okafor remained in Philadelphia with gastroenteritis. Ben Simmons still is rehabbing from a right foot fracture. 

"Soon you’re going to see Ben Simmons coming to a team bench where he doesn’t come out with boots and have to push him in some type of wheely apparatus," Brown said. "We’ve dealt with so many injuries trying to find that balance of dealing with their health and so on, and then trying to integrate them back into a team is part of growing a program."

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

I like to give Flyers fans a bit of a hard time on occasion, but that's only because I love them.

One beautiful Flyers fan today reminded me of why I love them.

They took the time to send a postcard to CSNPhilly.com's Flyers Insider -- and hater of the woo -- Tim Panaccio with one single word written on it.

"Woo."

Panotch says "Someone wasted a stamp and post card on this," but I say we just generated at least 50 cents in ad revenue from those of you that are reading this right now.

Money and time well spent.

Now, if you're not up on your wooing, Panotch penned a piece on how some fans wooing at games started annoying some of the players. Panotch hates the woo. BUT... and this is an important but... the Flyers are 6-0 since this all started. 

Woo.