By Bruce Martin PA SportsTicker Contributing Editor
Gilbert Arenas swears he is as healthy as ever. He’s certainly as talkative as ever. The Washington Wizards’ All-Star guard promised Friday he’s prepared to go “full speed ahead” on his surgically repaired left knee when training camp opens next week and when the regular season opens next month. “I’ve got to prove myself coming back from this injury.
The time has come for Kobe Bryant to end months of silence regarding the Los Angeles Lakers. That’s assuming he joins his teammates Monday at media day in suburban El Segundo and then on the flight to Hawaii for the start of training camp Tuesday. Although Bryant is expected, his spokesperson Catherine Sebring declined comment when asked about his plans, lending a bit of intrigue.
Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer could miss the start of training camp next week while his son recovers from a bone-marrow transplant in Miami. Camp starts Tuesday and runs through Oct. 6 in Boise, Idaho. “As soon as my son is home from the hospital and stable, I will join my teammates,” Boozer said in a statement released by the team Thursday.
Jimmy Rollins was reminded of his bold preseason prediction countless times, especially when it seemed the Philadelphia Phillies were going nowhere. Many snickered. Others criticized. Few outside the locker room believed. Hey, J-Roll, it took 160 games, but the Phillies finally are the team to beat in the NL East.
St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said he would take a few days after the season to decide whether or not to return to the team he has managed for the past 12 seasons. La Russa, third all-time in managerial victories with 2,372 heading into Friday night’s game in Pittsburgh, is finishing out the final season of his contract with the Cardinals.
With Bud Selig’s blessing, the Houston Astros picked Cecil Cooper as their full-time manager. The 57-year-old Cooper received a guaranteed contract through the 2009 season on Friday, a month after he was chosen as interim manager to replace the fired Phil Garner. Owner Drayton McLane, new general manager Ed Wade and Cooper spoke with the commissioner on a conference call after Cooper was promoted.
If the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings needed another reason to get physical, playing each other in London may be the perfect excuse. With the NHL making its regular-season debut Saturday and Sunday in the British capital, fans await a firsthand look of one of the league’s trademarks — rink-rattling hits and at least a couple of fights.
St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay McKee will be out four to six weeks with a fractured right foot that he suffered in Thursday night’s preseason game at Minnesota. It’s the latest setback for McKee, who played only 23 games last season in the first year of a four-year, $16 million contract. He was hindered mostly by a hip injury.
Teppo Numminen has gone home from a Cleveland hospital as the Buffalo Sabres defenseman continues to recover from open heart surgery. “Teppo was released from the Cleveland Clinic on Tuesday evening and is now resting comfortable at home,” Sabres doctor William Hartrich said in a statement Thursday. “His post-operative recovery continues to be excellent and Teppo’s right on schedule for a full…
Vernand Morency is eager to make his belated season debut at running back Sunday for the Green Bay Packers. “I’m just glad that Vernand feels good,” coach Mike McCarthy said after practice Friday. Morency’s return from a knee injury that sidelined him for the preseason and first three regular-season games could help the league’s worst rushing offense.
Minnesota quarterback Tarvaris Jackson’s groin is still sore, meaning Kelly Holcomb will get his second straight start when the Vikings play the Packers on Sunday. Jackson was limited in practice all week with an injury that kept him out of last week’s loss to Kansas City, and the second-year player was the only Viking listed as questionable Friday.