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Morning Jolt: Smith discussed trade with Panthers?

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Friday, February 11

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Smith discussed trade with Panthers

With an awful 2010 behind the Panthers, might they be turning to a future that doesn't include Steve Smith? Smith, who'll turn 32 this summer, discussed the possibility of being traded with team owner Jerry Richardson this past season, according to two league sources. ... While general manager Marty Hurney wouldn't discuss any private conversations the Panthers have had with Smith or his agent, he did acknowledge the team's star receiver is extremely frustrated. "I think Steve is probably not unlike everybody in the building ... he was not happy with 2-14," Hurney said. (

Strasburg on track for mid-September return

Stephen Strasburg took a small but significant step toward a return by throwing a ball Thursday. While recovery time varies from pitcher to pitcher, Zimmermann's experience sheds some light on when Strasburg may make his next major league appearance. The Nationals treated Zimmermann with extreme caution, and he made his first post-surgery appearance in the majors Aug. 26 last year, about 121/2 months following his August 2009 surgery. Since Strasburg underwent his surgery Sept. 3, he could feasibly return in the middle of September, at the very end of this season. (The Washington Post)Comment

Williams central to Sloan exit

Hours before Jerry Sloan resigned, the reasons behind it were being pieced together. [Sloan] has battled with All-Star guard Deron Williams all season, multiple sources said, and had lost the trust of the team. Williams and Sloan have had at least three altercations, while many players questioned Sloan's handling of everything from playing time and rotational decisions to his insistence on sticking with his revered offensive system. Sources said there has been a growing feeling within the organization that Williams would leave Utah following the 2011-12 season if Sloan did not step down. One stated the divide as being as simple as "either Jerry goes or D-Will goes." (Salt Lake Tribune)Comment

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Liverpool's Maxi Rodriguez employs the help of a balance ball while working out at Melwood Training Ground. (John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

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