Sick bay: Urlacher on track for Detroit?

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Sick bay: Urlacher on track for Detroit?

It wont be this weekend in Arizona, but the specter of Brian Urlacher returning for the game in Detroit against the Lions is seeming more and more possible, with coach Lovie Smith speaking in terms of getting the veteran middle linebacker back.
The key may be whether the Bears can dispatch the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday, a game for which they hope to have NFL interception leader Tim Jennings and possibly defensive tackle Henry Melton, third among defensive tackles with six sacks despite missing the last game and a half.
The defense has performed well with reserves Geno Hayes against Minnesota and Blake Costanzo vs. Green Bay. But even a diminished Urlacher is viewed as the second-best linebacker in the corps.
But you know with hamstrings is just hard to say when you will get back, coach Lovie Smith said Wednesday. I just know he's here, and some of the things he's doing is better than what it was before. But it's pretty hard to come back from a hamstring injury in a week or so.
That's why we just have to keep -- well, no, not keep, we have to play good football, this week against Arizona, and just bide time for him to get back.
A less obvious but significant concern, however, is the hamstring strain suffered by right tackle Jonathan Scott in the Green Bay loss. The Bears went through a reduced practice on Wednesday and Scott joined Urlacher as the only two players not to practice at least on a limited basis.
That includes No. 3 receiver Earl Bennett, coming back from a concussion, and pass rusher Shea McClellin (knee) as well as Hayes.
The Cardinals were without wide receiver Early Doucet (concussion) and safeties Rashad Johnson (hamstring) and James Sanders (foot). None of the three are starters, however.
Among those limited for the Cardinals were defensive end Calais Campbell (calf) and nose tackle Dan Williams (hamstring), two-thirds of the starting front in Arizonas 3-4 base. Also limited was starting linebacker Quentin Groves (foot). Williams was inactiveinjured for the Cardinals win last weekend over the Detroit Lions.

White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jose Quintana was pleased with his final warmup before Opening Day.

The White Sox Opening Day starter threw 48 pitches (30 strikes) against a Milwaukee Brewers minor league team at Camelback Ranch on Tuesday. Quintana allowed two hits, two runs (one earned), walked one and struck out three in three-plus innings. He next pitches at home on Monday against the Detroit Tigers.

"I finished my preparation on a high note," Quintana said. "I'm heading to the season with good energy and satisfied with all the worked and effort that I put in my preparation.

"I'm absolutely ready for the season to start."

A tweet from USA Today's Bob Nightengale on Tuesday suggested Quintana will start the season as a member of the White Sox despite myriad rumors. Nightengale noted that the Houston Astros refuse budge on what they're willing to pay for the 2016 All-Star. The White Sox have also held firm on their asking price and haven't been motivated by any of the offers they've received to move Quintana.

The team reduced the number of players still in camp to 34 on Tuesday with the trade of Peter Bourjos and by cutting nonroster invitees Cory Luebke and Matt Purke. Luebke, who has been sidelined for six days after he tweaked his hamstring, finished the spring with a 0.96 ERA in 9 1/3 innings. He can opt out of his minor-league deal in May. Purke struck out eight in eight innings and finished with a 2.25 ERA. 

Both had been in the mix for one of two open bullpen spots.

Fellow reliever Jake Petricka looked much calmer on Tuesday than he did after taking a comebacker off his hand Monday. X-rays were negative and Petricka played catch. He hopes to pitch as scheduled this weekend in Milwaukee. 

"This is just one of those you do everything you can do to stay healthy, and its part of the game you can't control," Petricka said. "You never want that to happen, especially this late in camp. "But we dodged a bullet and we're good to go."

The White Sox also had a close call with second baseman Tyler Saladino, who was hit by a pitch in the left wrist in minor league action on Monday. Saladino received treatment and could return to action on Wednesday.

"He's doing good, we're just holding him back today for my well being," Renteria said.

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Renteria said reliever Juan Minaya is improving but still likely to start the season on the DL. Minaya suffered an abdominal tear in mid-March. 

"He has been improving solidly and responding to the treatments," Renteria said.

Yolmer Sanchez went 2-for-2 with an RBI and scored a run in a 7-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Surprise, Ariz. 

Michael Ynoa allowed an unearned run and a hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings. 

Zack Burdi struck out three in a scoreless inning.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Cubs wrapping up spring training

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Cubs wrapping up spring training

Today on the Sports Talk Live podcast, David Kaplan, Seth Gruen, Teddy Greenstein, and Mark Grote discussed Addison Russell’s injury, if Szczur or La Stella should get the Cubs final roster spot, if the Bulls would be better off facing the Celtics or Cavs in the first round of the playoffs, and Jay Cutler’s butt all over the internet.