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Jonathan Toews out indefinitely for Blackhawks with illness – NHL

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Jonathan Toews and the Blackhawks released troubling statements about the captain’s health on Tuesday. While TSN’s Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger reported that Toews was expected to miss the Blackhawks’ training camp and start of the regular season, these updates seem more troubling. The short version: Toews is out indefinitely with an illness he’s still trying to understand.

Jonathan Toews out indefinitely for Blackhawks, still trying to understand illness

The week is young, yet it’s already been rough for Blackhawks injury news. Add Toews’ illness to Kirby Dach missing four-to-five months following wrist surgery, and Chicago must be reeling right now.

Toews, the Blackhawks, and Toews’ agent Pat Brisson released statements on the matter. You can find all three here, while this is the text of Toews’ statement:

“This offseason, I’ve been experiencing symptoms that have left me feeling drained and lethargic. I am working with doctors so I can better understand my condition.

Until I can get my health back to a place where I feel I can perform at an elite level and help my team, I will not be joining the Blackhawks for training camp. I do not have a timetable for when I will rejoin the team. I am extremely disappointed, but it wouldn’t be fair to myself or my teammates to attempt to play in my current condition

I am grateful for the continuous support from and ongoing communication with the Blackhawks organization. Stan Bowman, Rocky Wirtz, Danny Wirtz, Jeremy Colliton and my teammates have been nothing but understanding of my situation, and I appreciate them standing by me.

To Blackhawks fans, I will continue to do whatever I can to get back on the ice and return to play the game I love for the team I love. I will not be making any further comment at this time and ask everyone to please respect my privacy as I focus on my health and recovery.”

Scary stuff.

Blackhawks look thin at center position

As the Blackhawks and Brisson stated, Toews’ health is the most important thing here. Much like with Henrik Lundqvist‘s health situation, hockey feels secondary.

Nonetheless, in each instance, there are ripple effects on the ice.

Again, the Blackhawks look that much thinner at center with Toews and Dach out for significant chunks of time. Their forward position has been hit hard, in general, as Alex Nylander looks to be sidelined for months.

With a weak defense core and inexperienced goalies, the Blackhawks might face a tough 2020-21 season. They already messaged fans about a rebuild, so at least expectations were already blunted.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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Nate Diaz reacts to Conor McGregor’s KO loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 – MMA Fighting

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As expected, Nate Diaz didn’t stay silent for long in regards to how Saturday’s lightweight headliner went down in Abu Dhabi.

In the main event of UFC 257, Dustin Poirier avenged his UFC 178 knockout loss to Conor McGregor with a spectacular finish of his own to cap off the promotion’s third trip to Fight Island in 2021. “The Diamond” stopped McGregor in the second round to pick up the biggest win of his career and likely set himself up for a lightweight championship opportunity.

Diaz, who became the first to finish McGregor in the UFC at UFC 196, took to Twitter on Sunday to give his quick reaction to McGregor’s first KO loss in the promotion.

The Stockton native hasn’t competed since UFC 244, when he fought Jorge Masvidal for the “BMF” belt and lost via doctor’s stoppage in the main event. Diaz didn’t have much to say throughout the buildup to the fight, but he did chime in after the very respectful face-off between the main event participants on Friday.

Diaz has always been attached to McGregor as one half of one of the sport’s most important rivalries. In their first of two meetings, Diaz replaced an injured Rafael dos Anjos in the main event of UFC 196 and submitted the former dual champion in the second round to pick up his biggest career win. McGregor bounced back five months later at UFC 202 and earned a very close split decision in the rematch.

While a trilogy fight with McGregor seems like one of the more intriguing options after the second loss in three fights for “The Notorious,” Poirier also expressed interest in fighting Diaz at Saturday night’s post-fight press conference.

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Dana White reveals fate of internet pirate he targeted for threatening to illegally stream UFC 257 – MMA Fighting

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UFC President Dana White loves a good fight, and nothing seems to fire him up more lately than going after online pirates who stream UFC events illegally.

Ahead of UFC 257 on Saturday night, White had personally targeted a particular streamer who’d actually taunted him on social media after his declaration that he was shutting down illegal streams for the event featuring Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier 2.

White said prior to the event that not only had the person threatening to broadcast the card been identified, but he said authorities were waiting to pounce on the illegal stream if the service went live on fight night.

Following Poirier’s second round knockout against McGregor to cap off the UFC’s first pay-per-view of 2021, White offered an update regarding his ongoing war.

“So let me tell you that story,” he said during the UFC 257 post-fight press conference. “The night, I guess it was I did an interview with BT [Sport] and then I think you asked me as the press conference and I basically said this is what’s going to happen. I told you guys that we found the guy and we were watching him.

“He put out a statement that night, said ‘I will not be streaming the McGregor vs. Poirier anymore, but I will show you how to buy it legally’ and put out this huge statement. Now his whole streaming service has been deleted and is gone. Disappeared. One down and sh*t load to go. I’m ready.”

In recent weeks, White has renewed his new mission to go after anybody pirating UFC events illegally. But this particular card piqued his interest because UFC 257 was expected to be one of the biggest cards of the year.

At the post-fight press conference, he said the event will likely go down as one of the two biggest pay-per-views in UFC history.

As far as deterring other online pirates stealing shows, the UFC president promises to take interest in one particular person with each and every event as he seeks to make an example out of anybody attempting to hijack his broadcast.

“Every event I’m going to go after one of these guys.” White said. “One of these or more, we’ll see.

“And who you are guy that did this, good move, we had you, pal. I don’t know if he knew or something but we had you. All you had to do was pop up that stream and you were in big trouble. He did the right thing.”

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Conor McGregor’s leg ‘completely dead’, ‘like an American football’ after Dustin Poirier’s kicks at UFC 257 – MMA Fighting

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Like many fighters whose calves get kicked, Conor McGregor didn’t realize the damage done until it was too late.

Speaking to reporters after his loss to Dustin Poirier in the headliner of UFC 257 on Saturday, McGregor struggled to process the reversal of fortune that turned a solid performance in the first round into a stoppage via second-round TKO.

“It’s heartbreaking,” McGregor said after stepping up to the podium at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, which hosted the pay-per-view event. “It’s hard to take. The highest highs and the lowest lows in this game.”

Part of McGregor’s reconciliation was accepting how much of a part Poirier’s low leg kicks played in setting up the flurry of punches that handed him the first TKO loss of his professional MMA career.

The former two-division champ and box-office star showed up to the press conference on crutches.

“My leg is completely dead, and even though I felt like I was checking them, it was just sinking into the muscle in the front of the leg, and it was badly compromised, he said. “It’s like an American football in my shoe at the minute. It is what it is. Dustin fought a hell of a fight.”

Poirier was the victim of McGregor’s punches the first time they met in 2014 in a featherweight bout. The loss was the catalyst for Poirier to move up to the lightweight division, where he went on a tear that led to the interim title.

As for the path McGregor will walk, he said he’ll make the necessary adjustments and soldier on. There’s no doubt that part of his work will be to minimize the potential affect of low kicks. Up until the second round, McGregor felt he was trending in the right direction despite giving up a takedown.

“I thought I done well,” he said. “I got up, turned him. I felt alright with him in the clinch, I felt like I was better than him in the clinch. But too little, too late. The leg was compromised, and I didn’t adjust. Fair play to Dustin.”

McGregor is not the first fighter to suffer debilitating effects as the result of calf kicks. The strike affects the peroneal nerve that provides movement and sensation to the leg. Damage to the nerve can cause foot drop, rendering a fighter unable to lift or plant the foot. While it didn’t appear that the ex-champ was hobbled in such a way, he said the situation only got worse as Poirier continued to land the strike.

“I was going to tough her out,” he said. “I toughed it out as much as I could. It was an unusual one. I felt like I lifted my leg up multiple times, but it just sunk into to the muscle at the front, and it was badly compromised. And then Dustin had good, solid defense, as well. So when I was pressing forward with the shots, he was defending well. He fought a hell of a fight, and I’m happy for him.”

McGregor made no excuses for being unable to perform. The setback was instead something to reflect on, and he was still in that process as reporters asked him about what happened. The best answer he could arrive at was that he had simply been outclassed, and he would return to make things right.

“It was a phenomenal performance from Dustin,” he said. “I don’t know what to say. I’m going to go back, chill out, watch the full fight and get a better grasp on it. But the leg was compromised, and I was rushing the shots a little bit. And I didn’t adjust. It’s a bitter pill to swallow. I don’t even know whether I’m that upset. I don’t know what to say.”

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