Bernstein slams managers’ conduct

first_img Press Association Managers are setting a “terrible example” to players and the general public with their behaviour on the touchline, former Football Association chairman David Bernstein has claimed. “I have been involved with football for a long time and I do understand the pressures they are under but nevertheless when you look at the constant protesting on the touchline, the harassing of the fourth official and the comments afterwards, it doesn’t do anyone or the game any good. “It has been especially noticeable in recent weeks but it is an ongoing issue and it is a terrible example for their players, let alone the general public. “I think it is time managers assumed a much greater level of responsibility for their behaviour.” In the last week, Stoke boss Mark Hughes has been charged by the FA with improper conduct after being sent from the touchline against Newcastle, while Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers could be in hot water over his controversial remark after the Manchester City defeat about referee Lee Mason being from Greater Manchester. Bernstein, who stepped down as chairman in July, said video technology would help ease the pressure on referees but he did not envisage the sport’s world governing body FIFA embracing any such developments in the short term. He added: “I am a great believer that video technology needs to come in to help referees, and that would calm everybody down. “I pushed for it when I was FA chairman but it was like banging your head against a brick wall. “I think it will happen, as it did with goal-line technology, after another terrible high-profile incident, but I think it will happen later rather than sooner.” center_img Bernstein, who was made a CBE in the New Year Honours, would not specify individual cases but said there had been a number of high-profile incidents in recent weeks where managers had been seen berating officials and behaving badly. He told Press Association Sport: “There needs to be improvements in the areas of respect. Some fantastic work has been done but there seems to be a particular problem with the behaviour of managers. last_img read more

Cricket News Gautam Gambhir dismisses differences with MS Dhoni, regrets not being part of 2015 World Cup

first_imgNew Delhi: Gautam Gambhir, who recently announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in an emotional video on Tuesday, has brushed aside reports that he had differences with former Indian cricket team skipper MS Dhoni. In an exclusive chat with Navbharat Times, Gambhir, who was part of the 2011 World Cup winning squad, regretted that he did get a chance to help India try and defend the title during the 2015 World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand. Apart from cricket, Gambhir also spoke on politics and also criticized former India player and current Congress MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu for his visit to Pakistan.Read More |’It’s over Gauti’: Gautam Gambhir announces his retirementThere have been reports of differences between Gambhir and Dhoni after the left-hander fell out of favour with the selectors after a poor 2011 and 2012 season. Before the release of MS Dhoni’s biopic titled ‘MS Dhoni: The untold story’, Gambhir stated he never believed biopics should be made on cricketers. However, he later clarified in a Facebook live chat that he never had a rivalry with Dhoni but had differences of opinion on several issues.Read More |Gautam Gambhir announces retirement: Here’s the full textHowever, the Delhi left-hander did have a regret of not being able to represent India in the 2015 World Cup which was held in Australia and New Zealand. “There are several players whom I have played with who have gotten a chance to play in two-three 50-over World Cups.  I got only one chance to play in the World Cup and I am glad I could help in India winning the cup. However, if you have helped the country win the title, then you deserve another chance in helping the side defend the title. Not getting a chance to be part of the 2015 World Cup is my biggest regret,” Gambhir said.‘Thinking of joining politics’Gambhir has been outspoken on several issues in recent times, be it the Army, farmer suicides, air pollution in the capital, Kashmir or on Patriotism. The 37-year-old has said if one has the independence to pursue the kind of work, he might consider a career in politics. “If your aim is to change the lives of the people for the better, then one must enter politics. One must not enter this field just to be a rubber stamp,” Gambhir said.The Delhi player also criticized Navjot Singh Sidhu, the Congress MLA and former India player and commentator, for his recent visit to Pakistan. “One must not play around with the sentiments of our fellow countrymen. Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan was a mistake,” Gambhir added.The left-hander also criticised the ruling Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi, saying that with a majority in place, they have failed to fulfill the expectations of the people of Delhi.Illustrious careerGambhir’s final cricket game will be against Andhra at the Feroz Shah Kotla from December 6-9. His retirement will leave a massive void in world cricket. He helped Delhi to the Ranji Trophy title in 2007/08 despite playing with a bruised palm against Uttar Pradesh. His gutsy effort helped him into the India side and he helped them win the 2007 World T20 title. His 75 against Pakistan was the difference in a narrow five-run win.His epic 11-hour rearguard against New Zealand in Napier 2009, in which he slammed 137, helped India draw the match and win a series in New Zealand for the first time in 41 years. In 2011, more glory came his way as his magnificent 97 helped India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in the final of the 2011 World Cup to help the country win the tournament for the first time in 28 years.In the Indian Premier League, he changed the fortunes of Kolkata Knight Riders by becoming captain and helping them to two titles in 2012 and 2014. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Copa Coca cola: Helping Nigerian Kids Realise their Football Dream

first_img Four coaches, including ex- international football star, Garba Lawal, handled the Kaduna training. Others were Usman Yinka Salahu, Absulkadir Aliyu Janga and a seasoned coach, Hassan Abubakar. Each of the four states presented 20 school children for the training after which those below the age of 15 years were selected to play matches. The event  which was initially scheduled to hold at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium Kaduna (ABS) was shifted to the Living Faith Academy, Kaduna so as to afford  children in the school opportunity to watch the matches. The Kaduna State Coordinator, Nigerian Schools Sports Federation, Abel Yakubu, in an interview, explained that the essence of the exercise was to make the child know that sports cannot be separated from education. “That is why the venue for the event was changed from the stadium to the school so that the children can see what is happening physically and theoretically.” He said further that ex – International players and coaches were brought to take charge of the training so as  to encourage the children. “Most of the children must have heard about these former international stars, but they don’t know them. So their presence is a morale booster. If the programme had taken place at the stadium, the children here would not have had the opportunity of seeing these great former footballers.“The convener of the event, Copa Coca-Cola asked us to designate  three centres in Kaduna. They said we should take them to local football field and we picked three centres; Government Secondary School, Kaduna, Faith Academy and Rimi College” he explained.According to Yakubu, the clinical aspect was aimed at teaching the children about the techniques of footballing.“It is not just to kick the ball across the bar. They taught them all the skills that are involved in football.  After the clinic, we would screen the children to see that are actually U-15. We don’t have any parameter to test them, but we are parents and by seeing a child, you should be able to determine his age. “Before the training session commences, the children were admonished to be of good behaviour if they want to succeed,” he added. Addressing the children, Lawal, who had a successful football career at home and abroad told the kids that  the key success in football is discipline and hard work. He said it was possible to go to school and play football, stressing that it is possible for them to pursue the two at the same time. “I started playing football in 1989 and played for local and foreign football clubs. I played at the World Cup in 1998, I also played in the Olympic Games and I played at Africa Cup of Nations. “I started playing football like you, at a younger age than many of you. I want you to play better than some of us here. You can go to school and still play football. But if you want to succeed, you must be discipline and respect coaches and everybody,” he said. Also commenting on the initiative by Coca-Cola, Lawal noted that the process was the best way to get quality players. “If you want to get quality players, this is where to get them because if any player does not understand the basics of football, it’s always a problem . If you know the basics at a young age, it is fantastic. The challenge we have among players is lack of continuity. You can have a good player today after some few weeks, you see him declining,” he added. According to him, this process “has been helping Nigerian football. I have been with Coca-Cola for about eight years. The grand finale was fantastic, I believe this kind of programme would restructure Nigerian football. The kids are very lucky.” He added that “during our time, we never had this kind training during, we played on the streets. If you are lucky you will excel. But it is a fantastic programme and I urge Coca-Cola to keep it up, although it is difficult considering the issue of funding.” Also admonishing the children, Abubakar urged the children to be disciplined and respect their parents, teachers and coaches. He said no matter how good one can play football, if the person is not disciplined, he will never make progress. “Don’t misbehave to anybody. If you want to be great like Garba Lawal, you must be disciplined and hardworking,” he said. He commended Coca-Cola for introducing the programme noting that it was aimed at greater tomorrow. “I am happy with this programme because it is aimed at greater tomorrow. I call them greater tomorrow because with this contribution from Coca-Cola, I am sure they are helping some people to survive in their lives. Football today is business although some people may not look at it that way, but given proper support, the sky would be the limit for the children,” the coach said. The children were subjected to over one hour of rigorous coaching after which those  above 15 years were screened out.Matches were played among the participating states.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram The northern city of Kaduna, played host to school children from four states, namely Kano, Zamfara, Jigawa and Katsina, which participated in the Copa Coca-cola footballClinic on Thursday. The programme which held across zones within the federation was introduced by Coca-cola to promote grassroots football as well as identify  young talents and groom them to become great footballers.last_img read more

Young hockey players departing for pro game sooner

first_imgThere is a trend brewing in the Wisconsin men’s hockey program that recently stalled thanks to what could be seen as a curious decision by Justin Schultz.Schultz, who just completed his sophomore season, became the third Badger defenseman in three years to collect an impressive array of awards. Starting with Jamie McBain in 2009 and continuing with Brendan Smith and Schultz in the following two seasons, all three players have done the following: Win a top individual award in the WCHA, be named a first-team All-American and first-team all-conference, rank first or second in the nation in scoring from the blueline and be named a top-10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the top player in college hockey.All three had their own individual wrinkles too. McBain was WCHA Player of the Year, while Schultz and Smith were named Defensive Player of the Year. Smith had the most points of the three in his big season, putting up 15 goals and 37 assists for 52 points and helping UW to the national title game. Schultz’s 18 goals were the most for a college defenseman since 2002. And there was his curious decision.All that hardware and fanfare and Schultz decided this: He would stay for his junior season.McBain, a second-round draft pick of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, left after his junior season, saying he’d accomplished everything he wanted to at the NCAA level. Smith, a first-round choice of the Detroit Red Wings, did the same. A second-round draft pick of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, Schultz’s numbers and awards would have seemed to indicate he would make the jump to the professional ranks at season’s end. Plus, he accomplished his feats as a sophomore, while McBain and Schultz were juniors. It would seem to look like Schultz is on a faster track to professional stardom.“Those awards, they’re great, I’m happy with them. If I were to leave based on getting those, I think it would be a big mistake,” Schultz said. “I know and coach knows I’m not physically ready yet for that next level.”That next level: The National Hockey League. The NHL can pluck its young prospects from the college ranks more easily than any other major professional league, for one main reason.They’re already drafted.The NFL requires a player to be two full years removed from high school to be draft-eligible. NBA draft eligibility is contingent on the prospect being one full year removed from high school. If a player drafted by an MLB player decides to go to school, the team does not retain his rights and the player re-enters the draft pool the following year.But for North American players, there is a small window of NHL draft eligibility. The player must be 18 years old by Sep. 15 of the draft year and no older than 20 by Dec. 31 of that year.As a result, the majority of the most talented North American players intent on playing NCAA hockey have been drafted before they even sit down for their first class. This also means they’re more or less free to leave at any time they want, knowing that they already have a pro franchise committed to them.“It just comes down to the organization that you sign with, whether they’re ready for you to make that transition, [if] they feel you’re ready,” McBain said in a phone interview. “Then also on a personal level, how you feel about where you’re at, both in your personal life and also with your hockey. You’ve got to weigh both options.”The problemThere’s a balancing act in college hockey between attracting top talent and being able to use it to its fullest potential. Teams that want to compete consistently need the right mix of talent, timing and execution.“It almost seems that if you’re going to be in that type of rotation where you’re able to attract top-end kids, this is what’s going to happen if you have a good team,” UW head coach Mike Eaves said. “The blessing of it is, you probably wouldn’t have a chance to get in that championship game unless you had those top-end kids. The downside is, they’re going to leave early.”Since 2002 (and excluding the NHL lockout year of 2004-2005), 185 college hockey players have left school with eligibility remaining to sign with an NHL or AHL team. A small number of players left early to sign with a European team – UW’s Jordy Murray announced this week he is likely foregoing his senior season to play professionally in Switzerland – but those players are not counted for this story. In 2010, 36 underclassmen signed, the most since 2007.Since Eaves became head coach at Wisconsin for the 2002-2003 season, he’s seen 12 underclassmen leave for the pros (13 if Murray goes), second in Division I only to Minnesota’s 19 in that time span. The WCHA, which includes traditional powerhouses like the aforementioned Badgers and Gophers, as well as Denver and North Dakota, was hit hardest in that span among Division I conferences. Eighty-one WCHA players left school early in those years, with the CCHA clocking in at a distant second with 43 early departures. Four of the five teams with the most defections in that span hail from the WCHA.With all that talent, the WCHA would be expected to fare well in the national tournament. And while the conference has succeeded in that setting, it has been a mixed bag.Since the NCAA tournament went to its current 16-team format in 2003, the WCHA has led all conferences in total bids in seven of nine years. Fourteen WCHA teams have made it to the Frozen Four in that span, but until Minnesota Duluth’s win in 2011, the conference hadn’t seen a national champion since 2006 when Wisconsin last won. The year before that featured an all-WCHA Frozen Four, with Denver defeating North Dakota for the title. WCHA teams won four straight titles from 2002-2005.So what happened to change that?The likely culprit is the NHL’s new collective bargaining agreement, put in place after the 2005 lockout. The CBA’s prominent feature was a salary cap.“With the salary cap, the game has changed because of that,” Eaves said. “You look at most NHL teams now, if you take a look at their fourth-line players, those are kids they can afford to have up. They’re going to spend their money on their top-end guys.“A lot of teams now are three-line teams and five defensemen. And they kind of fill in around the edges with these guys they can afford.”In 2003, 10 players left early; in 2004, 18 players did so. In the post-NHL lockout years, the numbers of players to leave have looked like this: 25, 31, 27, 17, 36, 21.Organizations are eager to call up young, cheap prospects to do the same things a much more expensive veteran could do.Eaves realizes his top players are likely to leave early and understands sometimes they indeed need to move on in order to become better hockey players. But NHL teams are becoming more aggressive in encouraging picks to sign sooner. Eaves just wants to get three years out of them.“Really, that’s our main concern; if we can get them to stay for three years, if they can be committed to college for three years – it used to be four years, but realistically, three years for us – we can live with that,” he said.Check back tomorrow for the second part of this five-part series. *The article originally read that the WCHA hadn’t won a national title since 2005, which is false. Wisconsin won the 2006 national title. We regret the error.last_img read more

UW Athletics announces partnership with Under Armour

first_imgAll 23 University of Wisconsin athletic teams will ditch adidas gear for Under Armour starting next year, Athletic Director Barry Alvarez announced in a news conference Friday afternoon.The 10-year, $96 million deal will begin on July 1, 2016, the day after Wisconsin’s current contract with adidas expires.Flanked at the podium by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and Senior Associate Athletic Director Justin Doherty, Alvarez said he had followed Under Armour a long time, calling it a “modern success story.”“We think this will be a fantastic and long-term relationship that will benefit both the University of Wisconsin as well as Under Armour,” Alvarez said. “I know our student-athletes, staff and fans will enjoy and appreciate the top-shelf offerings from Under Armour.”Basic uniform prototypes were on display at the announcement. Plank said the uniforms are in the infant stages of development, and aren’t even close to what fans will see come Fall 2016.Alvarez’s and Plank’s relationship began in the late 1990s, Alvarez said. When UW’s current contract with adidas was set to expire about six years ago, Under Armour had a seat at the discussion table.And now, Under Armour, a company that started in a Georgetown basement, represents another major institution.“Today is another chapter in our company’s story — a story we’re very incredibly proud of,” Plank said.Compared to the deal with adidas, the contract with Under Armour financially favors UW.For the next 10 years, UW will receive “annual product allotment of Under Armour shoes, apparel and equipment at no cost,” according to documents from Friday morning’s Board of Regents meeting, which approved the deal.In addition to the product allotment, Wisconsin will receive $3.3 million in product during the first year of the deal. For the second year of the deal, Wisconsin will receive $2.45 million, with that number increasing by $100,000 per year to $3.05 million by year nine. In the final year of the deal, UW will receive $1.375 million.adidas provided UW with between $750,000-800,000 in cash contributions annually. Under Armour will provide $4 million a year in cash. Under Armour will pay $450,000 per year in royalties, while adidas only paid $100,000 annually.“It’s a great contract for both sides,” UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank said to The Badger Herald, adding that her daughter loves to wear Under Armour products.In addition to monetary benefits, Wisconsin placed significant stresses on Under Armour against harsh labor laws, a problem the university ran into with adidas.Plank said it’s just as important to him and his company as it is to Alvarez and the university.“Coach [Alvarez] is one of those people that are larger than life,” Plank said. “I can tell you there’s nothing more important to him than representing this state and representing this institution with the highest level of integrity of every turn.”Non-athlete Wisconsin students also gained something from the deal. Under Armour will hire two students each summer for its Summer Rookie internship program.“We couldn’t be happier with this new relationship,” Alvarez said.last_img read more

O’Shea preaches consistency for GAA coaches

first_imgEamon O’Shea, who managed the Premier County’s senior hurling team from 2012 to 2015, thinks players are likely to perform better if their mentors are delivering a consistent message.The Kilruane McDonagh’s club man also believes that making mistakes is a vital part of the learning process for coaches and those under their charge.He says you’ve got to stick to your guns during difficult times…last_img

Losses for Cahir and St Marys in weekend action

first_imgAt half time Cahir had let the Waterford side push ahead by a huge margin – 3-10 to 5 points.Cahir rallied somewhat in the second half but the earlier surge by Ballymacarberry was too much and it finished Ballymac 5-20 to Cahir’s 2-10. It’s been a bad weekend for Tipperary clubs featuring in Munster championships.The Cahir Ladies footballers suffered a big defeat to Waterford champions Ballymacarberry in the Munster final in UL. Meanwhile, there was also disappointment for St Mary’s hurlers, as they were defeated in the Munster Intermediate hurling Quarter final.A good start from the Clonmel side saw them lead by three points early on, but Kanturk then took a commanding lead and refused to let Mary’s back into the game.last_img read more

Spain Beats Hosts France to Book Final Clash with Japan

first_imgFive minutes before the break, Spain midfielder Damaris Egurrola forced a goalline clearance from France left-back Selma Bacha to keep the scoreline goalless at half-time.The match came to life in the second half, with the European U-19 champions taking the lead following a throw-in deep in the France half on 51 minutes. Lucia Rodriguez’s cross from the right found the head of Guijarro, who nodded home for her tournament-leading sixth goal of France 2018.The goal raised the tempo of this semi-final contest even further, with the first red card of the competition coming just past the midway point of the second half. Spain’s Aitana Bonmati was shown a second yellow card for her challenge on Bacha at the halfway line.France then had a glorious chance to level matters when they were awarded a penalty with 15 minutes remaining after Spain centre-back Laia Aleixandri was adjudged to have handled the ball in her own box. Marie-Antoinette Katoto took the spot-kick for Les Bleuettes, but Coll did brilliantly to deny her.Seeking an equaliser, France used the extra player to press Spain hard in the final stages, but La Rojita withstood all that the hosts could throw at them, as Pedro Lopez’s side reached their maiden U-20 Women’s World Cup final, where they will face Japan in Vannes on Friday evening.France, meanwhile, face England in the match for third place in Vannes on Friday afternoon.In the other semi final, first-half goals by Riko Ueki and Jun Endo earned Japan a 2-0 victory over England and the ticket to the final.On a sunny afternoon at the Stade de la Rabine, it was the Young Nadeshiko that put in an impressive first-half display, despite England’s Chloe Kelly creating the first chance of the match that Japan goalkeeper Hannah Stambaugh did well to save after just two minutes.It proved the best opportunity of the first half for Mo Marley’s side, as Japan then took control of the contest. Following chances from Endo and Saori Takarada, Ueki scored her fifth goal of France 2018 with a low right-footed shot after turning past England defender Anna Patten in the opposition’s box on 22 minutes.Japan then doubled their lead five minutes later, as Endo scored her second goal in as many games when she headed into an empty net on the rebound after Hinata Miyazawa powered a fine strike off the England crossbar.The Young Nadeshiko were then unlucky not to extend their lead further on 34 minutes after Fuka Nagano hit the post with a curling finish from close range.England’s efforts to get back into the match proved a frustrating cause for the Young Lionesses, as Japan’s organisation and work rate to close them down proved telling to the outcome of this semi-final clash. A powerful Georgia Stanway strike was England’s best chance after the break.Victory for Futoshi Ikeda’s side ensures Japan’s maiden appearance in the final of this competition.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram UNDER-20 WOMEN’S WORLD CUPSpain got a second-half winner from Patri Guijarro Monday to defeat hosts France 1-0 and advance to the final of the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup 2018. This despite La Rojita playing the final quarter of Monday’s semi-final with ten players.In front of a passionate crowd at the Stade de la Rabine in Vannes, both sides contributed to a hard-fought encounter, with chances traded at both ends in the first half. Guijarro and captain Maite Oroz missed the target with opportunities for Spain, while at the other end, Emelyne Laurent and Helene Fercocq forced saves from Spain goalkeeper Catalina Coll.last_img read more

NFF Deserves Kudos over Awards, Says Egbe

first_imgFIFA Match Agent and sports facility expert, Ebi Egbe has given a pat on the back to the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) over the Aiteo/NFF awards whose second edition took place Monday night in Lagos.Egbe who graced the show was full of praises for the Pinnick Amaju led NFF board for the event which he noted was a good advertisement for Nigerian football.“Great show it was and a good advertisement for the game. It was nice bringing to Lagos FIFA Secretary General, Fatma Samoura, CAF Executive Committee members and 18 presidents of soccer federations across Africa. The event proper was a remarkable improvement from the first edition and I commend the NFF as well as the sponsors,” Egbe said. Egbe who is the Chief Executive Officer of Monimichelle, a stadium construction outfit however urged the NFF, corporate bodies and the government to invest on infrastructure insisting that without good facilities Nigerian football would continue to go down.“Monday night the NFF celebrated the Super Eagles class of 1994. That set played in Lagos which was Eagles slaughter ground for Nigeria’s opponents. Today, the stadium in Lagos is begging for attention. If we must continue to do well in the game we must invest in facilities, especially the playing turfs. Rohr is today complaining that we don’t have good pitches and that is the truth. We must do something to remedy the situation,” Egbe whose outfit re-grassed the Enyimba Stadium concluded.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Lakers’ Luke Walton expects D’Angelo Russell to return vs Charlotte, but will take long view with his injury

first_imgCHARLOTTE, N.C >> The movement seemed graceful as Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell ran up and down the court. His game looked normal as he oversaw the offense taking outside shots and making crisp passes.Those images at the end of Monday’s practice explained why Lakers coach Luke Walton said Russell “looked great” missing Saturday’s game in Cleveland to rest his sore left knee. Those images also left Walton optimistic Russell will play when the Lakers (11-19) visit the Charlotte Hornets (15-13) on Tuesday at Spectrum Center.There marks a question that yielded less certainty. Did Russell’s one-game absence serve as an aberration or a warning sign?“Hopefully it doesn’t turn into a type of thing where he misses a game, plays a game and misses a game,” Walton said. “We need to get continuity with our players. Hopefully that’s not the case. So obviously we’ll see how the knee feels.” Injury updateThe Lakers listed reserve forward Tarik Black as probable to play against Charlotte after showing some limitations in Monday’s practice with his previously injured right ankle. Walton said Black “was hurting” near the halfway of the Lakers’ 90-minute practice. After missing five games, Black played three minutes on Friday in Philadelphia before sitting out Saturday in Cleveland despite being on the active roster.Lakers veteran forward Luol Deng also rested during Monday’s practice after he was hit in the back on Saturday in Cleveland. Walton expects Deng to play against Charlotte.“It’s important we keep him fresh on this type of road trip,” Walton said.Team bondingThough the team was off on Sunday, Walton said about seven players completed informal workouts that involved shooting sessions and games of 3-on-3. The Lakers also attended an advanced screening of “Fences” starring Denzel Washington. Russell missed a combined 11 games because of a sore left knee that eventually received non-invasive platelet-rich plasma injection. Russell then faced a minute restrictions while he averaged 11.5 points on 32.5 percent shooting and 3.3 assists in 21.5 minutes per game in the four contests since his return.Should Russell face any more limitations with his knee, Walton said he would feel more comfortable with the Lakers shutting him down until he fully recovers. “Instead of coming in and out like that, especially at his age, it’s more important to get him healthy,” Walton said. “It’s good for our guys, too, to have a unit that they know they’re going to be playing with instead of switching the starting group up all the time, which changes the second group up as well. We’ll keep a close eye on it in the next week or so and see how it’s playing out.”Nonetheless, Walton saw things play out well for Russell since his one-game absence. He spent the Lakers’ designated day off on Sunday lifting weights and completing a private workout. On Monday, Russell completed all of practice including a full-court scrimmage at the end.“He was pressuring the ball and pushing it on offense,” Walton said. “He looked really good today.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more