Thu, Dec 14, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Soccer
Rooney in NBA injury scare

Wayne Rooney nearly got injured in a different venue -- while watching the New York Knicks basketball team at Madison Square Garden. The Manchester United striker and fiancee Coleen McLoughlin sat courtside on Monday night when Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics lunged for a loose ball and landed on Rooney's surgically repaired right foot. "It was scary," Rooney said on Man U's Web site. "He rolled right over my foot." Luckily, there was no damage to the foot that kept Rooney out of England's opening match in the World Cup last summer.

■ Rugby Union

Rogers to switch codes

Wallaby back Mat Rogers is poised to immediately leave rugby union and return to rugby league after more than four years playing in the 15-a-side code, it was reported yesterday. The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) said the utility back would meet senior officials this afternoon to discuss a release from his contract, which is due to expire after next year's Rugby World Cup in France. But it was widely reported in the Australian media that the ARU has already agreed to release Rogers, who has played 45 Tests for the Wallabies since he switched from rugby league in 2002.

■ Cricket

Symonds replaces Martyn

Australia named all-rounder Andrew Symonds in place of the retired Damien Martyn in their team for the third Ashes Test against England starting today. Symonds, who played the last of his 10 tests against South Africa in April, will bat at No. 6 in the order with Mike Hussey and Michael Clarke moving up a spot to four and five respectively. Fast bowler Mitchell Johnson was named as 12th man with uncapped batsman Adam Voges dropping out of the original 13-man squad. Martyn announced his retirement from cricket three days after Australia won the second Test in Adelaide.

■ Basketball

Iverson rejects Bobcats

Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson was nearly shipped to the Charlotte Bobcats but his unhappiness at joining the newest NBA team reportedly doomed the deal. The Philadelphia Inquirer, citing an unnamed course, reported yesterday that the 76ers had reached terms for a package of players from the team formed in 2004 but Iverson's feelings made it impossible to complete the deal. The Bobcats are already struggling to build an audience and their 5-15 record is second-worst in the NBA. Charlotte was one of the few clubs that could fit Iverson's contract into their salary cap. The Hornets spend US$38 million in salaries, about US$15 million shy of the NBA's cap of US$53.1 million a team.

■ NFL

League pioneer seriously ill

Lamar Hunt, a 74-year-old gridiron pioneer who also financed the early struggles of tennis and US soccer, was fighting for his life on Tuesday. Hunt, who founded the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, has been hospitalized since Nov. 22 with a partially collapsed lung and doctors have discovered that the cancer he has been fighting has spread. "He's battling a very courageous fight," Chiefs president and general manager Carl Peterson said. "We hope and pray for good results. We'll continue to hope that miracles will happen." Hunt was the man who gave the Super Bowl its name. His Dallas Texans won the first American Football League crown in 1962 and moved after three seasons to Kansas City, where as the Chiefs they played in the first Super Bowl and won Super Bowl four.

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