The Milwaukee Bucks will have to press on without power forward Charlie Villanueva who has a torn ligament in his left elbow and will be sidelined at least four weeks. Villanueva, 22, suffered the injury in the second quarter of Milwaukee's 103-101 NBA win over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday. Villanueva is averaging 14.6 points and 7.4 rebounds in eight games this season.
Clarke to miss PGA
Ryder Cup star Darren Clarke has pulled out of next month's Australian PGA Championship so he can spend more time with his children following the death of his wife. Clarke's wife Heather died of breast cancer in August. The Northern Ireland golfer informed tournament organizers that he is not up to making the trip to Australia. "He's just emotionally exhausted and he needs to spend time at home with his children," tournament spokesman John Dunlop said yesterday.
Santana nabs AL Cy Young
Johan Santana won the AL Cy Young Award on Thursday for the second time in three years, and the Minnesota Twins' ace was a unanimous choice once again. Santana received all 28 first-place votes for a perfect total of 140 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Santana separated himself from the competition during a dominant season, going 19-6 with a 2.77 ERA and 245 strikeouts to lead Minnesota to the AL Central title.
Gronholm ahead in NZ
Finland's Marcus Gronholm won all five stages on the first day of the 17-stage Rally of New Zealand yesterday to close in on his fourth New Zealand title and tighten Ford's grip on the world manufacturers' crown. By the end of the fifth stage, a 3.14km super special at the rally's Mystery Creek headquarters near Hamilton on New Zealand's North Island, Gronholm led Hirvonen by 31.2 seconds. Seven-time world motorcycling champion Valentino Rossi, driving a privately-owned Subaru, spun on the first stage, completing the 20.38km section more than 2 1/2 minutes slower than Gronholm. By the end of the day, Rossi was almost 11 minutes behind.
Velazquez takes WBC title
Hector Velazquez of Mexico beat Bobby Pacquiao of the Philippines by disqualification in the 11th round on Thursday to capture the WBC super featherweight championship. Velazquez won after suffering a low blow at 2:56 of the 11th round, which prompted the referee to halt the close bout. Pacquiao had one point deducted in the third and fifth rounds for low blows, helping precipitate the referee's decision. Pacquiao, who had a five-inch reach advantage, knocked down Velazquez in the third round with an uppercut to the head. Velazquez now has a record of 46-11-2 with 32 KOs.
FIFA rejects requests
FIFA, world soccer's governing body, has rejected requests by Turkish club Galatasaray for 10 million euros (US$12.8 million) compensation after French international midfielder Franck Ribery left them, his club Marseille said in a statement on Thursday. In June last year, Galatasaray requested that Ribery should return, denying he had not been paid for three months by the Istanbul club. Galatasaray had signed Ribery in January last year for three and a half years from French first division club Metz but he joined Marseille in June, when he was still just an under-21 international, on a four-year contract.