Sharks' Couture day to day with lower-body injury


Sharks' Couture day to day with lower-body injury


SAN JOSE (AP) San Jose Sharks rookie Logan Couture sat out practice Monday after leaving the previous game following a hard fall into the boards, but is relieved his injury is not nearly as serious as he originally feared.Couture left Saturday's game against St. Louis early in the second period. He slammed hard into the boards and appeared to hurt his right leg. He had to be helped off the ice by teammates and is listed as day to day with a lower-body injury.
REWIND: Pavelski powers Sharks past St. Louis, 5-3
"It was scary," he said. "I went in there and tried to stop. I don't even know if anyone touched me. The way my leg went in, it didn't feel very good. I wanted to get up. I was trying to but the ref came over and said to stay down. There wasn't much feeling in my leg. As soon as I got off the ice it started to feel better. I was able to put pressure on it. It wasn't as bad as it looked."Couture said he is feeling much better than he thought he would two days after the injury and hoped to be back on the ice to practice on Tuesday. He did not rule out playing Wednesday night against Calgary, although the Sharks may be hesitant to rush him back with the start of the playoffs just over three weeks away."I don't like sitting out games," he said. "If I'm healthy. I want to play. That's how I am. I've sat out enough games in my junior career and last year a bit and a couple of games this year. It's not fun. I want to be back on the ice."
REWIND: Sharks' Couture leaves game with leg injuryCouture has been one of San Jose's most consistent players all season and one of the leading contenders to win the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie. Couture is second on the team with 27 goals, the most ever by a rookie in franchise history, to go along with 21 assists. He is also tied for the team lead with a plus-15 rating as he has been strong on both ends of the ice.His eight game-winning goals are two off Alex Ovechkin's league-leading total and one shy of the rookie record set by Steve Larmer in 1982-83 for Chicago."He's a big part of our team, as is everybody," said assistant coach Trent Yawney, who ran practice with head coach Todd McLellan traveling back from his brother-in-law's funeral in Saskatchewan. "You don't want to be losing guys at this time of year. It's encouraging. I'm glad to hear he is feeling better."Couture's injury happened at almost the same spot on the ice where All-Star defenseman Dan Boyle took an awkward fall the previous game. That also initially looked worse than it was, with Boyle thinking his season might be over when he first hit the ice. Instead, he was back on the ice just minutes later.The Sharks did get two players back to the ice, with forward Scott Nichol practicing with the team for the first time since he was injured Feb. 19 against Colorado and defenseman Niclas Wallin back on the ice for the first time since he took a hard hit from Dallas' Jamie Langenbrunner last Tuesday.Yawney said it was unlikely either player would be able to play Wednesday against the Flames."I don't know what our timetable is," Nichol said. "We didn't take any contact or anything, just a little bit of pushing. Baby steps. We had white glove treatment on me. We'll see how it goes in the next week or so."After a lackluster start to the season, the Sharks are in good position heading into the stretch run. They lead the Pacific Division by three points over Phoenix and are third overall in the Western Conference with less than three weeks to go in the regular season.But after hosting Calgary on Wednesday night, San Jose plays its final eight games against Pacific Division rivals. All five teams in the Pacific are in the top nine in the conference, with the Sharks just seven points ahead of last-place Dallas."You look at that three through eight and that can really change the next two weeks," said forward Dany Heatley, who will return Wednesday from a two-game suspension. "You want to have the highest seed as possible obviously for home ice and things like that. As far as who your matchup is going to be, it's going to be a tough series no matter who it is. These last nine games are going to mean a lot."

49ers 2017 UDFA tracker: Southern Miss QB reportedly agrees to terms

49ers 2017 UDFA tracker: Southern Miss QB reportedly agrees to terms

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers are reportedly adding a fourth quarterback to their 90-man roster.

Nick Mullens a four-year starter at Southern Mississippi, agreed to terms with the 49ers after the conclusion of the Saturday’s NFL draft, he told the Hattiesburg American.

As a senior, Mullens completed 65.5 percent of his passes for 3,272 yards with 24 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Mullens joins a quarterback group that includes starter Brian Hoyer, backup Matt Barkley and third-round draft pick C.J. Beathard.

Other reported 49ers free-agent agreements include:

--RB Matt Breida, Georgia Southern: In three seasons at Georgia Southern, Breida rushed for 3,740 yards and 37 touchdowns while averaging 6.9 yards a carry. (Tampa Bay Times)

--OL Erik Magnuson, Michigan: Magnuson (6-6, 305) was a first-team All-Big Ten performer who started every game at right tackle. He announced on Twitter that he has agreed to terms with the 49ers.

--WR Kendrick Bourne, Eastern Washington: He caught 211 passes for 3,130 yards and 27 touchdowns in his four-year career. Bourne (6-1, 203) had his best season as a senior, with 79 receptions for 1,201 yards and seven touchdowns. Eastern Washington announced Bourne’s three-year contract.

--OT Darrell Williams Jr., Western Kentucky: Williams (6-5, 315) started 41 games. He played his final two seasons at right tackle after moving from right guard. Western Kentucky announced the contract agreement with the 49ers.

--WR KD Cannon, Baylor: Cannon caught 195 passes for 3,113 and 27 touchdowns in his three-year career. He turned pro after a junior season in which he caught 87 passes for 1,215 yards and 13 touchdowns. He announced his contract agreement with the 49ers via Twitter.

--DB Lorenzo Jerome, Saint Francis (PA): Jerome, a Senior Bowl invite, was named first-team FCS All-American. He intercepted six passes in 2016 with 59 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 11 pass break-ups. He added a touchdown on a kickoff return. (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Livingston on Kerr: 'He’s our leader ... somebody that we count on'

Livingston on Kerr: 'He’s our leader ... somebody that we count on'

OAKLAND -- Though much has been said about the agonies and challenges facing Steve Kerr, including speculation about when, or if, he’ll return as head coach of the Warriors, little has been put into words that capture the significance of his absence.

This is perhaps because it can be difficult to explain how one man is able to influence a roster of supremely talented athletes, at the wealthiest point of life, with wildly divergent personalities, at different career stages.

Veteran guard Shaun Livingston, a man who knows perspective as well as anyone in the NBA, took a moment Saturday to cut through the palaver and pity to offer a clear and vivid illustration of Kerr’s value as a man and as a coach.

“It’s just his presence, his personality,” Livingston began. “His character, the way he fits in with us. He’s kind of the battery pack, in the sense that he makes everybody go. He keeps us all (in harmony), everybody from staff, training staff, coaching staff to the players.

“He bridges the gaps, in the sense of communication, and he makes it light.”

In short, Kerr’s value to the franchise is far greater than his duties as a coach. He has an easy, breezy charisma insofar as he’s so comfortable submerging his own ego while being remarkably good at making everyone matter.

Moreover, Kerr is decidedly inclusive, explicitly emphatically open to ideas. He’s an outreach specialist whose sensibilities are contagious.

All of which helps create a sprightly and genial workplace, something the Warriors sought when they hired Kerr to replace the swaggering and dogmatic Mark Jackson in May 2014.

“Every day it’s something new, in a sense, and that’s hard to do,” Livingston said. “We’re here for six to nine months for the past couple years, seeing the same faces. So it is kind of like a job. But (Kerr) makes it more like a game and tries to make sure we’re enjoying ourselves out there.”

Kerr wants to live his life and coach basketball around four basic tenets: joy, mindfulness, compassion and competition. Maintaining a balance of the four can be difficult, especially when Kerr is dealing with the searing pain that has him on the sideline for an indefinite period.

But Kerr never strays far. His players seem to see and, more important, feel that.

Draymond Green and Kerr, each volatile in his own way, don’t always see eye-to-eye. Yet Green on several occasions has noted that Kerr “always seems to find the right thing to say, at the right time.”

Veteran David West points out that anyone who spends any time around Kerr can sense his basic humanity. Veteran Andre Iguodala, one of the team’s co-captains, speaks of Kerr’s curiosity and desire to broaden his horizons.

Stephen Curry, the other co-captain, kept the ball from the Warriors’ Game 4 win over Portland last Monday night, punctuating a series sweep, and gave it to Kerr, who missed Games 3 and 4 while coping with this prolonged post-surgery pain.

Lead assistant Mike Brown, the acting head coach in Kerr’s absence, concedes he has benefited from being around Kerr and this team.

“The tone he sets is the best I’ve been around,” said Brown, who has been involved in the NBA since 1992. “This is a special, special situation, and he’s big reason why.”

So it’s not just Livingston who throwing rose petals at the boss. He just happened to convey in a few words the effect Kerr has on the team and within the building.

“He’s our leader,” Livingston said. “He’s somebody that we count on.”