Newcastle Uniteds Premier League survival hopes have been dealt a severe blow with the news goalkeeper Rob Elliot requires surgery on his injured knee and is out for a minimum of six months. Eddie Griffin Jersey . Elliot was carried off whilst playing for the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on Tuesday, having injured his knee whilst trying to block Miroslav Stochs opening goal in their Euro 2016 warm-up game against Slovakia. Republic boss Martin ONeill confirmed after the match it was a serious knee injury.Newcastle confirmed the extent of the injury on Wednesday afternoon, saying in a statement: Newcastle United can confirm that goalkeeper Rob Elliot has sustained an injury to his anterior cruciate ligament. Rob has returned to Newcastle and has been assessed this morning by the Clubs doctor. He will now commence a programme of treatment and rehabilitation.Regrettably, the severity of this injury will rule Rob out for a number of months.Everyone connected with Newcastle United wishes Rob the very best for his recovery.The injury has also ruled Elliot out of the European Championships.The news is a huge blow for Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez, with the club currently second from bottom in the Premier League, three points away from safety. Karl Darlow (right) has played just once in the Premier League - a 1-0 defeat against West Brom Newcastle face Norwich City this weekend in a crucial match in the relegation battle, having already lost first choice goalkeeper Tim Krul for the remainder of the season with a knee injury of his own.Benitez now faces using inexperienced goalkeeper Karl Darlow, who has played only twice for the club since signing for them in August 2014, or 19 year old Fred Woodman.The availability of those two keepers means Newcastle would be unable to approach the Premier League about signing an emergency goalkeeper, as they have two fit professionals available.England goalkeeper Jack Butland, who suffered his own season-ending injury against Germany on Saturday, tweeted his sympathy to Elliot on Wednesday afternoon, writing: mate, gutted for you and wish you a solid recovery! you can come round mine and we can watch the euros together! head up mate! Jack Butlands tweet to Rob Elliot Also See: Newcastle video Newcastle fixtures Newcastle stats Get a free ￡10 bet Metta World Peace Jersey . For the Bombers it has been a combination of things coming together at the most inappropriate moments in time. Quarterback, injuries, Canadian talent or depth and leadership are all issues. Trust me when I say being a Bomber is no fun right now in a city that embraces football the way Winnipeg does. While Buck Pierce will be getting another shot, I think Max Hall does deserve another opportunity. Rick Barry Jersey . First, the Red Wings scored the tying goal after officials missed the puck hitting the protective netting, then the Kings wound up losing in a shootout. That could affect playoff positioning in the Eastern and Western Conferences, and thats a concern for everyone.VANCOUVER - Rory MacDonald says he doesnt feel any added pressure to carry Canadas mixed martial arts torch in Georges St-Pierres absence. In fact, his mentors hiatus from the UFC makes McDonalds quest to reach the top of the welterweight division a little easier. "It opens things up for me to get to where I want to be," MacDonald said this week. "Ive learned a lot from Georges. No extra pressure, Ive just got to be myself." It remains to be seen if St-Pierre will return to the sport he dominated, but the 24-year-old MacDonald — who goes by the nickname "Ares" — is intent on continuing his climb this Saturday at UFC 174 when he takes on Tyron (The Chosen One) Woodley in the co-main event at Rogers Arena. Both men have their sights set on Johny Hendricks welterweight title, with MacDonald ranked as the No. 2 challenger and Woodley at No. 3. Shy in front of the media glare, MacDonald said he just has to continue working on what has brought him to this point. "I think people like me for who I am," said MacDonald, who was born in Quesnel, B.C., but now trains in Montreal. "Ive gotten to the position Im in because of being who I am — a couple stumbles along the way but I feel like Im hitting my stride right now." One of those stumbles actually came in Vancouver when MacDonald (16-2) lost at UFC 115 in June 2010 to Carlos Condit. His only other defeat came to Robbie Lawler in a split decision at UFC 167 in November, but MacDonald rebounded to beat Demian Maia in a spplit decision at UFC 170 in February. Chris Clemons Jersey. "You pick and choose your spots. You play between defence and offence against other good fighters," said MacDonald. "I just had a great training camp. No injuries and things went great. I felt great in my sparrings and my techniques are sharp." Woodley (13-2), a two-time All-American wrestler at the University of Missouri, has just three UFC bouts under his belt, including a technical knockout victory over Condit at UFC 171 in March. MacDonald said if he fights to his strengths against Woodley, he should come out on top. "I know the techniques. They come out as instinct right now," said MacDonald. "Ive trained them so much. So Ive just got to go in there and do my thing. "Im ready for everything. Last time here was unbelievable, the response I got. If its the same, more, or less Ill be ready." In a era where athletes in all sports are constantly looking for an edge, MacDonald said he doesnt study video of his opponents before a fight, preferring to use his instincts. "Ive fought a lot of people in the past — never seen them, never heard of them and had to deal with their problems," he said. "I find it easier to do it like that, to react in the cage." MacDonald is hoping for the same against Woodley on Saturday night. "Hes a great fighter. To beat him you have to be tricky and use good techniques," he said. "I feel very confident in my abilities and the solutions I have." ' ' '
The Air Canada Centre has always been a house of horrors for the Ottawa Senators. Morgan Tiller Jersey Store . Steve Thomas. Cory Cross. Gary Roberts. Joe Nieuwendyk. Every Sens fan can tell you with painful clarity how each of those players stung the Senators in the past. So as the Sens get set to face the Maple Leafs in a crucial game on Saturday night, I pondered a very legitimate question: Has Ottawa ever beaten Toronto in a regular season game that mattered at the Air Canada Centre? The only instance I could think of was at the tail end of the 2007-08 season, when the Senators crushed the Maple Leafs with a decisive 8-2 victory. With that win, Ottawa essentially clinched a playoff spot – although they were facing a Toronto team that had absolutely nothing to play for. The worst part is that win actually proved costly, as Leafs forward Mark Bell took out both Daniel Alfredsson and Mike Fisher in that game and neither was available for the playoffs. Even Ottawas lone meaningful regular season victory at the Air Canada Centre came with a massive asterisk. For the most part, Ottawa has enjoyed success at the ACC in the month of October. Their most memorable victories were probably the first ever shootout win in NHL history and Dany Heatleys four-goal performance in an 8-0 win. Both of those wins came just a few weeks apart in October of 2005. You could maybe toss Craig Andersons 47-save shutout performance in his Sens debut into the mix, but that victory came in February when the Senators had already given up on the 2010-11 season. In fact, that Anderson victory at the ACC was an aberration when you look at the Sens record against the Leafs towards the back half of the season. A monthly breakdown of the Sens all-time record against the Maple Leafs paints a pretty clear picture of a team that does well in the first half of the season, but fades down the stretch against their provincial rivals: October: 16-5-1 November: 10-5-1 December: 3-3-1 January: 5-5-2 February: 4-7-3 March: 7-6-3 April: 4-7-0 Of course these numbers only reflect regular season meetings, but if you were to add the playoff numbers to the mix it would only worsen the situation for the Senators. In short, the Senators have won 16 times against the Leafs in the month of October in only 22 games. But that is more wins than they have against the Leafs in the final three months of the season combined – and that spans a total of 41 games. To add to the misery, the Senators record against the Leafs in February, March and April in the last five years is a woeful 2-10-0. Its not like Im dragging up ancient history and talking about the playoff series from 12 years ago. This is recent history that has not been kind to Ottawa. Ottawa has lost some memorable regular season games to the Leafs and it feels like all of them have been in the back half of the season. The infamous flu game where Owen Nolan scored the OT winner and said “Boo-hoo” about Ottawa players being sick. Or the 6-0 shellacking the Leafs laid on Ottawa in the regular season finale in 2003-04, which gave Toronto home ice advantage in their subsequent playoff series. And even Nazem Kadris hat trick last March in a 4-0 shutout win is probably near the top of the list. Torontos great regular season moments against Ottawa come in February, March and April, while the Senators big wins seem to occur in October. These are all ominous numbers and stats for the Senators, as they head into Saturday nights showdown against the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. The calendar has flipped to February and history is not on the Senators side. But if Ottawa wants to make the playoffs this season and head into the Olympic break with some momentum, its time they finally won a game at the Air Canada Centre that mattered for both teams. Bill Baumgartner Jersey Store . If there is one club built to handle an off-field controversy, its the Bill Belichick era Patriots. Even if New Englands offence stumbles a bit out of the gate, their defence can help them stay in games, especially in the AFC East with the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets in the first two weeks. Larry Jordan Jersey Store . - Novak Djokovic beat John Isner 7-5, 6-7 (2), 6-1 on Saturday to reach the final of the BNP Paribas Open, where hell resume his longtime rivalry with Roger Federer.OAKLAND – Edwin Encarnacion suffered a right leg injury in the first inning of the Blue Jays Saturday night game against the Athletics. The clubs preliminary diagnosis is “right quadriceps soreness.” Encarnacion will undergo an MRI on Sunday. Encarnacion was at the plate with one out and Jose Reyes on third base and Melky Cabrera on first. He beat out a groundball by a step but pulled up lame. He required the assistance of trainers George Poulis and Mike Frostad to leave the field. "I felt some pop before I touched the base. Thats why after I touched the base I let my body go to the ground because I felt a lot of pain," Encarnacion said. Reyes scored on the play. Adam Lind pinch ran for Encarnacioon and replaced him at first base. Richard Bell Jersey Store . Losing Encarnacion for a prolonged period of time would be damaging to the Blue Jays playoff hopes. He is baseballs leader with 69 RBI. Encarnacions 26 home runs place him in a second-place tie with Baltimores Nelson Cruz, one behind Jose Abreu of the White Sox. "Id be very surprised if it wasnt a DL, for a couple of weeks at least. I dont know that for sure yet," manager John Gibbons said. "Of course, in this moment I dont want to go to the DL. I want to be playing, helping my team to win games," Encarnacion added. "Thats what we need right now, we dont need me to go to the DL, its going to be very frustrating for me. Well see what happens." ' ' '