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Chelsea to take on Man City in top two clash

Chelsea to take on Man City in top two clash

first_imgVictory over City would give them a substantial lead in the title race, though they will be without striker Diego Costa. That game will kick-off at half five.Hull will welcome Newcastle in the early game at quarter to one with a draw enough to get them out of the bottom three, for a few hours at least.The two sides just above the relegation zone meet when Sunderland welcome Burnley. While in the three o’clock kick-offs, Manchester United will be out for a measure of revenge when they meet Leicester in the Premier League this afternoon.They suffered a surprise 5-3 defeat at the home of the top flight’s bottom team when they met earlier this season.Manager Louis van Gaal says his side will have to be at their very best if they’re to avoid another upset at Old Trafford.The rest of the three o’clock kick-offs sees sixth place Tottenham visit West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool are at home to West Ham.QPR, without an away point, are at Stoke.Crystal Palace take on Everton at Selhurst Park.last_img read more

Blake Griffin broke hand punching Clippers equipment staffer

Blake Griffin broke hand punching Clippers equipment staffer

first_img“L.A. Clippers forward Blake Griffin suffered a spiral fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his right hand throwing a punch on Jan. 23 in Toronto. This conduct has no place in our organization and this incident does not represent who we are as a team. We are conducting a full investigation with assistance from the NBA. At the conclusion of the investigation, appropriate action will be taken.”Griffin was in Los Angeles on Monday and X-rays revealed the injury. He underwent a procedure Tuesday morning performed by Dr. Steve Shin. The expected time of recovery is four to six weeks.Griffin issued a statement on Twitter apologizing for the incident.“A situation among friends escalated and I regret the way I handed myself towards someone I care about,” it read. “I want to apologize to the Clippers organization, my teammates and the fans for creating a distraction. I am working with the team on a resolution and getting back in the game as soon as possible.”Rivers addressed the issue before tip-off at Indiana.“It’s frustrating,” he said. “We don’t want it to happen to anyone and you obviously don’t want it to happen during the season or even when the season is not going on. This type of stuff shouldn’t happen, but it did and it’s real life and you have to deal with real-life stuff sometimes in our make-believe world.”• HEISLER: Dear Donald — here’s one Clippers incident they can’t blame on youRivers said he has spoken to the parties, both of whom were sent back to Los Angeles after the incident. He was asked if he was satisfied with Griffin’s explanation.“Well, I’m not satisfied with anything,” Rivers said. “I’m talking about a non-basketball issue right now, so, no, I’m not satisfied with anything right now. Having said that, we have to move forward. We have to figure out the best way to deal with this.“My job right now, like at this moment, is to make sure those guys in the locker room are ready to play this game. And this is a distraction.”Rivers couldn’t say what Griffin’s punishment might be. Nor did he express worry about legal proceedings that could materialize. “I’m not concerned,” he said. “I mean, obviously, that’s something that can happen. That’s out of my pay grade. I know what I can control and what I can’t control and those are the things I can’t control.”Rivers said he spoke to the team Monday about proper conduct as players in the NBA. But these are men, not robots, so stuff happens and will continue to happen, he intimated. Rivers added he didn’t believe alcohol played a part in the incident.“Guys are human and they make mistakes and I’m not one of those guys to never give people second chances in life,” Rivers said. “I think that’s very important in life. Having said that, you have to learn from it. We all do. Not only just the people who were involved, but us, too. How can you avoid all these situations with these players?“They’re out on the road; they should enjoy their lives. For me, I take it personal. … It’s not like we live in a realistic world. We have to learn lessons and sometimes we have to learn them the hard way. This is a hard lesson for Blake, but it’s also a hard lesson for our team.”• REACTION ON TWITTER: Blake Griffin ‘needs to grow up’ The Clippers (29-16) had gone 11-3 in Griffin’s absence before Tuesday, the three losses coming over the previous five games. They finish their road trip today at Atlanta before returning home to face the Lakers on Friday at Staples Center.Griffin, who has not played since Dec. 25, was having a strong season. He was averaging 23.2 points on 50.8 percent shooting to go with 8.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists.Griffin in November 2014 was charged with misdemeanor battery for an altercation with a man in a Las Vegas nightclub, but he was not prosecuted.Griffin was recently named Sportsman of the Year by the L.A. Sports Council. @RMoralesPT on TwitterThings have gone from bad to worse for L.A. Clippers forward Blake Griffin.Griffin has sustained a fractured right hand after he punched Matias Testi, the team’s assistant equipment manager, at a restaurant during the team’s visit to Toronto this past weekend, where the Raptors defeated the Clippers 112-94 Sunday.As of now, no charges have been filed. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img ESPN.com first reported the news.According to the report, an argument between Griffin and Testi began in the restaurant, where Griffin first struck Testi. Testi reportedly went outside, Griffin followed and struck him again. Testi’s face is said to have visible injuries. He and Griffin are friends and have actually vacationed together.• RELATED: LA Clippers: A history filled with drama and chaosGriffin, who had missed the past 14 games with a partially torn quad tendon, was expected to return on this current five-game East Coast swing before this happened. The Clippers were 1-2 on the trip ahead of Tuesday’s 91-89 victory at Indiana.Coach Doc Rivers, who is also the team’s president of basketball operations, and owner Steve Ballmer released a joint statement:last_img read more