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Bengals Linebacker Vontaze Burfict Recovering from Microfracture Surgery


David Lee/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It is unknown when one of the NFL's top linebackers will see the field again as Vontaze Burfict of the Cincinnati Bengals is recovering from microfracture surgery.

Microfracture surgery is a procedure performed on knees that have suffered cartilage damage. It is viewed as a serious surgery that has derailed the careers of various athletes in other sports, including football.

Still, the surgeon who performed the procedure, Dr. Neal ElAttrache, is hopeful Burfict will be ready to go by training camp.

"I don't see any reason, if this thing heals like we want and we think it will, why he won't be back like he was," ElAttrache told the NFL Network. "Microfracture has a bad connotation, but there are plenty of guys who have come back and been able to play like before. But it's not really news when it works out."

Burfict was limited to just five games in 2014, but in 2013 he recorded an NFL-high 171 tackles.

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Suns' Goran Dragic Looking Forward to Free Agency


Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Phoenix Suns point guard Goran Dragic will be one of the top free agent names on the market this summer as he has the opportunity to opt out of his contract after this season. And he's embracing the chance to explore his playing options.

“Every team in the NBA is an option to me, because it is a privilege to play for any team in the NBA," he told the Houston Chronicle. "When the time comes I’m going to sit down with my family and my agent and try to make the best decision for myself.”

Now in his seventh NBA season, the 28-year-old Dragic has flourished in his second tenure with the Suns. In 44 games this season, Dragic is averaging 16.5 points, 4.1 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game in the guard-heavy Suns rotation. Last season, Dragic averaged a career-high 20.3 points per game.

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Team Toews Tops Team Foligno in NHL All-Star Game


iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- If you're a fan of low-scoring hockey, then the NHL All-Star Game isn't for you. On Sunday, Team Toews came out on top over Team Foligno, 17-12.

It was the highest-scoring All-Star Game in NHL history.

New York Islanders center John Tavares scored four goals in the game, which matched a record for the game.

There was so much offense that Tavares didn't even win the MVP Award. That honor went to Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen, who was playing in front of the Blue Jacket fans. He was given the award after the fans voted him the winner on Twitter.

"It's meant a lot, being a part of it -- seeing the fans and how much they've been enjoying all the festivities," he said. "We did a two-hour (autograph) signing. Everybody just seemed to be having a great time. All the kids were laughing and having a lot of fun."

Philadelphia Flyers winger Jake Voracek had a memorable game as he tied another record with six points.

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Report: Dan Quinn to Be Named Falcons Head Coach


Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

(ATLANTA, Ga.) -- Once the Super Bowl has concluded, the Atlanta Falcons are expected to name Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as their head coach, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Quinn, 44, has served as defensive coordinator of the Seahawks defense for the past two seasons after replacing Gus Bradley, who took the head job with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Falcons have already named Kyle Shanahan as the team’s offensive coordinator, though it has been rumored that his hiring is contingent on Quinn being hired.

Raheem Morris, a former player of Quinn at Hofstra in 1990, will likely join the Falcons as defensive coordinator.  Morris was previously head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2009-2011.

Quinn has been in a bit of a tricky situation because of NFL rules. As a member of a coaching staff that is actively in the postseason, Quinn was only available to interview during the Seahawks bye weeks -- the wild card round and this week leading up to the Super Bowl.  No team was able to hire him until the Seahawks season concluded.

He will replace Mike Smith, who served as Falcons head coach for the past seven seasons. 

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Whiteside Posts Triple Double in Heat Win


Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(CHICAGO, Ill.) -- On way to a victory over the Chicago Bulls, a remarkable event occurred for the Miami Heat. Hassan Whiteside, a center who has worked on his craft in the Developmental League, recorded a triple double for the Heat in their 96-84 win.

By putting up 14 points, 13 rebounds and 12 blocks, Whiteside recorded his first career triple-double. He also did this in 25 minutes of action; achieving the feat in the second shortest period of time in the shot clock era. 

"It's a blessing. Like I told my teammates, you won't believe how things work out in life," said Whiteside. "Three months ago I was at the downtown Y just chilling, working on my game. I couldn't get a team to pick up the phone."

A second round pick of the Sacramento Kings in 2010, many teams chose to steer themselves away from Whiteside because of questions about his attitude. After working on his craft overseas and in the D-League, Whiteside signed with the Heat in November.

“That’s what the team needs,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. “It gives us a very different dimension. It’s a credit to him for continuing to work hard and match it with his talent.”

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Report: Mavericks Likely to Sign Jermaine O'Neal


Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images Sport(DALLAS, Tx.) -- The Dallas Mavericks are inching closer to signing center Jermaine O'Neal.

The 36-year-old center, who is currently rehabilitating from numerous injuries and chronic ailments, is likely to join the Mavericks around the All-Star break, according to ESPN.

O'Neal, an 18 year veteran, last played in the 2013-2014 season with the Golden State Warriors. He has had multiple surgeries to repair both wrists and undergone plasma-rich therapy on both knees to alleviate tendinitis.

After acquiring Rajon Rondo from the Celtics on Dec. 18, the Mavericks are now seeking to add depth to their front line.

For his career, O'Neal has averaged 13.2 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game. 

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Team Irvin Wins Pro Bowl


NFL Shield (NFL)(GLENDALE, Az.) -- The NFL's annual All-Star competition concluded with Team Irvin defeating Team Carter 32-28.

Under the leadership of Hall of Fame wide receivers, Michael Irvin and Cris Carter, the NFL's most popular players put on a show for the fans.

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford took home MVP honors for their respective side of the ball.

"I just tried to enjoy it," Watt said, who intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble in the game. "That's what the Pro Bowl is all about, giving the fans a good show. Everybody worked so hard to get here, you want to enjoy yourself and play some good ball. Guys are dancing around and having a good time, that's what it's all about."

Stafford, who tossed two touchdowns and threw for 316 yards in the game, said: "It was a blast. To able to play with the best in the world is a whole lot of fun, and everybody is such good people, too. I am out here having a good time."

This year, the Pro Bowl was held in the host city of the Super Bowl, Glendale, Arizona, taking a one year break from its usual destination of Honolulu, Hawaii.

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Scoreboard Roundup - 1/25/15


Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Miami Heat 96 (20-24) - Chicago Bulls 84 (29-17)

Cleveland Cavaliers 108 (25-20) - Oklahoma City Thunder 98 (22-22)

Atlanta Hawks 112 (37-8) - Minnesota Timberwolves 100 (7-36)

New Orleans Pelicans 109 (23-21) - Dallas Mavericks 106 (30-15)

Los Angeles Clippers 120 (30-14) - Phoenix Suns 100 (26-20)

Indiana Pacers 106 (16-30) - Orlando Magic 99 (15-32)

Toronto Raptors 114 (29-15) - Detroit Pistons 110 (17-28)

Golden State Warriors 114 (36-6) - Boston Celtics 111 (15-27)

Washington Wizards 117 (30-15) - Denver Nuggets 115 (18-26) - Overtime

Top 25 Men's College Basketball:(2) Virginia 50 (19-0) - Virginia Tech 47 (8-11)

(4) Villanova 71 (18-2) - Creighton 50 (9-12)

(5) Duke 77 (17-2) - St. John's 68 (13-6)

(8) Notre Dame 81 (19-2) - North Carolina State 78 (13-8) - Overtime

(10) Louisville 80 (16-3) - Pittsburgh 68 (13-7)

(12) Utah 77 (16-3) - Washington 56 (14-5)

(13) Maryland 68 (18-3) - Northwestern 67 (10-10)

(14) Wichita State 74 (18-2) - Drake 40 (4-16)

(20) Northern Iowa 54 (18-2) - Illionois State 53 (12-8)

Ohio State 82 (16-5) - (23) Indiana 70 (15-5)

Butler 77 (15-6) - (24) Seton Hall 57 (13-6)

NHL All-Star Game: Team Toews 17 - Team Foligno 12 - MVP: Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen

NFL Pro Bowl: Team Irvin 32 - Team Carter 28

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Browns W.R. Josh Gordon Facing One-Year Ban


Johnathan Daniel/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon failed another drug test and will now face a one-year suspension, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reports.

Gordon tested positive for alcohol, a source said, confirming a report by Pro Football Talk. 

Gordon was suspended at the end of the season for violating team rules after missing the first 10 games of the season, to go along with being arrested for driving while impaired after speeding down a street in Raleigh, North Carolina during the summer.

Prior to that arrest, he was suspended the first two games of the 2013 season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

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Mike Krzyzewski Wins 1,000th Game in Duke's 77-68 Victory over St. John's


Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The wait is over.  Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski won his 1,000th game after his team beat St. John's 77-68 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

The Blue Devils were down 61-51 with 8:36 left in the game and had a furious rally and Quinn Cook's three pointer gave them their first lead of the second half with 5:15 left in the game.  They'd go on to have a 26-7 run to end the game and give Coach K the milestone victory.

Tyus Jones finished with 22 points and six assists and Cook and Jahlil Okafor each added 17 in the win.

Sir'Dominic Pointer had 21 points in the loss for St. John's.

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