Flyers-Sharks: Game 63 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Monday's trade deadline brought two new faces to Philadelphia and both will be in the lineup as the Flyers continue their playoff push.

Derek Grant and Nate Thompson make their Flyers debut as the team goes for a fourth straight win against the San Jose Sharks.

Game time is 7 p.m.

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The Philadelphia Eagles set to interview KJ Hamler tomorrow

By Justin Bradley, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

The Philadelphia Eagles are set to interview wide receiver KJ Hamler tomorrow. The Penn State wide receiver is projected to be late first or early second-round pick. With the Eagles having pick #21, they are in a good spot to draft him if they think he’s the guy. They might even be able to wait until the second round to get him. Hamler brings speed and explosiveness, something the Eagles desperately need. We won’t know Hamler’s official 40 time until Thursday. If he shows elite speed, he will move up on everybody’s draft boards. Hamler told the media today that he models his game after current Eagles wider receiver DeSean Jackson. Jackson, one of the best deep threats of all time would be a great mentor for Hamler if he was drafted by the Eagles.

Hamler did get official measurements on Monday. Hamler was measured at 5-foot-8 and 178 pounds and had a 9 and 3/8 inch hand size and 6-foot 1/2 wingspan. His hand size actually was very similar to taller receivers such as Justin Jefferson from LSU and Tee Higgins from Clemson. Hamler’s draft stock after the combine will all come down to his 40 time. 

Miles Sanders and KJ Hamler are actually best friends. Hamler told the media today that they used to room together at Penn State. During his rookie year, Sanders called Hamler every week and they have talked about the possibility of playing together with the Eagles. “We always talk about it, that would be a fun adventure.” It would be really cool to see Hamler and Sanders play on the Eagles together and develop with franchise quarterback Carson Wentz.


Mascot Creators Harrison/Erickson Respond to "New" Phillie Phanatic

The following is a statement issued in full by Harrison/Erickson regarding Sunday's changes to the Phillie Phanatic: 

The creators of the original Phillie Phanatic, Bonnie Erickson and Wayde Harrison (who are represented by law firm Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP), expressed their dismay at the appearance Sunday of the so-called “new” Phillie Phanatic at the Phillies spring training game:

“The Phillies lack of good faith in negotiating for an extension of the copyright assignment for the Phillie Phanatic is disappointing,” said Wayde Harrison. “But the unveiling of the so-called ‘new’ Phanatic on Sunday is an afront [sic] to our intellectual property rights and to Phillies fans everywhere.”

“For more than 40 years, we have worked closely with the Phillies, making all the Phanatic costumes, providing artwork and ideas until June of 2018,” added Bonnie Erickson. “The Phanatic has performed successfully for the Phillies and the city of Philadelphia for decades. The ‘business decision’ by the Phillies to roll out this ‘new’ Phanatic is a transparent attempt to deny us our rights under of the Copyright Act. We would love to have the real Phanatic continue with the Phillies.” 


Possible Diagnoses For Ben Simmons


By Victor Williams, Sports Talk Philly Writer

In regards to Ben Simmons and his back injury, we are all hoping for the best-case scenario. I was able to speak with an experienced spinal surgeon to get an idea of what timetable to expect. From the limited information we have so far, there are multiple possibilities and permutations based on the symptoms:

  • If it is just muscular it is usually a day to day situation. 1-2 weeks maximum, need to be cautious with him to not re-aggravate.
  • A more serious issue like a Facet Joint injury or strain can take 4-6 weeks to heal and must be managed with rest. This is accompanied by a steroid shot into the joint under live X-ray, this is usually more than a nuisance issue or muscle issue but not as serious as a Disc issue.
  • Then there is a fracture that can be fixed if it is the vertebrae itself, with cement under X-ray guidance. Other fractures like a stress fracture or a transverse process fracture can’t be fixed but can heal quickly in 6-8 weeks maximum. It could be 4-6 weeks but usually, vertebral fractures take longer.
  • Last, there are two disc injuries. A disc tear in the fibrous capsule that causes mostly back and hip pain that doesn’t do well with steroid shots and can take a while to heal but does so without issue most of the time, especially within a world-class athlete like Ben Simmons. Then obviously is a herniated disc which can cause a bad radiating pain as well as weakness and often responds to steroid shots under x-ray guidance but can require surgery. This can take months to heal, let alone play.

Of course, pinpointing what exactly is wrong with Simmons' back is all speculation to this point. Since Ben's camp is involved in what the next steps are, we should all understand that this isn't a minor injury.

Phillies Mailbag: Moniak, Bohm, and the Usual Pivetta Hype


By Frank Klose, Sports Talk Philly Editor 

We are back with another edition of the 97.3 ESPN Phillies mailbag. Each week we take your questions and talk about them on the Sports Bash with Mike Gill every Tuesday during the Phillies season. Send your questions anytime on Twitter to @FrankKlose or send a text to the text board at 609-403-0973.

Hindsight: A.J. Puk or Mickey Moniak?

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