Reds closer Chapman takes line drive to face, suffers broken bone above left eye

ASSOCIATED PRESS Published:

Associated Press

n BASEBALL

Cincinnati closer Chapman survives line drive to face

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman was undergoing surgery Thursday to repair a broken bone above his left eye but has no other serious injuries after being hit in the face by a line drive in a spring training game.

Team medical director Dr. Timothy Kremchek said Chapman could begin throwing off a mound in six to eight weeks, a timetable that could get him back in games in late May. The left-hander with a fastball that has reached 105 mph could start exercising and throwing on flat ground in a couple of weeks, Kremchek said.

The doctor called Chapman "a very lucky guy."

Kremchek said a metal plate will be inserted in the bone above Chapman's left eyebrow, with perhaps a bone graft as well, and will remain there permanently. Chapman has a very mild concussion but no other brain injury and no injury to his eye, Kremchek said.

n FOOTBALL

Edelman turns down tempting offer from San Francisco

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Julian Edelman grew up less than 30 miles from San Francisco. So visiting the 49ers as a free agent was "very surreal."

As a high school student, he watched them at training camp. As a pro, he chose to stay at his current home.

Two days after re-signing with the New England Patriots, Edelman said Thursday, "I ultimately felt that the best fit for me and my skill set and my career was back in Boston. (San Francisco) was my home growing up, but, like I keep on saying, Foxborough is home. It's all I know really."

Edelman has spent five NFL seasons with the Patriots since they drafted him in the seventh round as a quarterback out of Kent State and converted him to wide receiver. But he caught only 69 passes in his first four years.

Then, with Wes Welker leaving for the Denver Broncos, Edelman had a breakout season with 105 receptions, fourth most in the NFL. With him and Danny Amendola returning, Tom Brady has some stability in his receiving corps. The Patriots added former Carolina wide receiver Brandon LaFell, but still lack a deep threat.

Ball State gives Lembo extension

MUNCIE, Ind. -- Ball State coach Pete Lembo has received a five-year contract extension and raise that puts him among the highest paid coaches in the Mid-American Conference.

Lembo is 25-13 in three seasons with Ball State, and was 10-3 last year. The Cardinals were 6-18 to two seasons before Lembo was hired. He has led Ball State to two straight bowl games.

Lembo was given a $79,000 yearly raise, bumping his annual salary to $475,000. According to USA Today's coaches' salary database, only Ohio's Frank Solich made more in the MAC last season.

Michigan lineman charged after battle with OSU fans

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Authorities in Ann Arbor say NFL prospect and former Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan has been charged with assault and battery, stemming from a confrontation with two Ohio State fans after the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines.

Lewan is scheduled for an April 8 arraignment on one count of aggravated assault and two counts assault and battery.

Two months ago, Lewan denied he was in a fight and was trying to break something up. The incident happened in Ann Arbor on Dec. 1.

The charges against him include aggravated assault and assault and battery.

Indiana player recovering from near-drowning

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Doctors expect Indiana wide receiver Isaac Griffith to make a full recovery from a near downing along Florida's Gulf Coast, a hospital spokeswoman said Thursday.

Griffith was brought out of heavy sedation and was awake, breathing on his own and responding well to others on Thursday, Sarasota Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Kim Savage said. His condition has been upgraded to serious.

A friend rescued the 19-year-old Griffith after he was caught in a rip current Monday at Siesta Beach in Sarasota.

n GOLF

Scott feels better after first-round 62

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Masters champion Adam Scott was feeling ill when he arrived at Bay Hill. One majestic round with the putter Thursday made him feel a lot better.

Scott made five putts from about 20 feet or longer, two of them for eagle and one of them from off the green for birdie, and matched the course record with a 10-under 62 to build a three-shot lead in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The conditions were close to perfect. So was his work on the greens.

"I made a lot of putts today, and a lot of putts from considerable length," Scott said. "I hit a lot of nice shots, too, but it wasn't like I was hitting it four feet. I had a round like this in Australia at the end of last year -- in the first six holes, I didn't hit it outside five feet."

Ryo Ishikawa, who uses Bay Hill as his home course on the East Coast, birdied the 18th for a 67. John Merrick celebrated his 32nd birthday by reaching 8 under until a late bogey. He also shot 67.

n BASKETBALL

Wake Forest fires coach Bzdelik

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The losses mounted for Jeff Bzdelik, and so did the public criticism of the Wake Forest men's basketball coach.

The school announced his resignation Thursday after four mostly disappointing seasons.

He went 51-76 at Wake Forest with a 17-51 record in Atlantic Coast Conference play.

The Demon Deacons were 17-16 this year -- their first winning season under Bzdelik.

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