Injury sidelines Toeava
The All Blacks suffered another blow to their injury-marred midfield yesterday when Isaia Toeava was ruled out for the rest of the year with a stress fracture. Toeava, 23, the third-choice outside center for the All Blacks this year, produced his best international performance in the final Tri-Nations Test last week when New Zealand beat Australia 33-6. A scan revealed that Toeava had played with a stress fracture in his pelvis at the back of the right hip joint, All Blacks Doctor Deb Robinson said. “Confirmation of the stress fracture means that he now needs up to three months rest from rugby,” she said. Toeava earned his start in the No. 13 jersey with Conrad Smith (hamstring) and Richard Kahui (shoulder) sidelined by injury. Kahui, like Toeava, will also be unavailable for the end of year northern tour, which includes Tests against Australia, Wales, Italy, England and France as well as a match against the Barbarians.
Fleury gives up comeback
Theo Fleury, attempting a NHL comeback after a six-year absence at age 41, announced his retirement on Monday, giving up his dream of a return to the Calgary Flames. While Fleury scored four points in four pre-season games with the Flames, his release last week prompted him to call it quits rather than try and play somewhere else ahead of tomorrow’s start of the NHL season. “I could not sign with another team,” he said. “I retire a Calgary Flame.” Fleury began his career with the Flames in the 1988-1989 season and won a Stanley Cup with Calgary in that inaugural campaign. He also played for Canada’s 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic gold medal hockey champions. Fleury ranks second to current captain and 2002 Olympic teamate Jarome Iginla on the Flames’ all-time scoring list. Fleury scored 455 goals in 15 total NHL seasons with Calgary, Colorado, Chicago and the New York Rangers.
Four Vikings to don pink
Brett Favre, whose touchdown toss with two seconds remaining Sunday kept the Minnesota Vikings unbeaten, will be wearing pink when he faces his former Green Bay teammates on Monday. And it won’t be just a feeling. Favre will be among four Minnesota players wearing pink-colored accessory equipment in the game as part of the National Football League’s paying tribute to breast cancer awareness next month. Chester Taylor, Antoine Winfield and Chad Greenway will also wear purple jerseys with pink cleats, gloves, wristbands, wristbands and sideline caps as part of the program for the showdown at the Metrodome. Certain players will wear pink items in games throughout the month to raise awareness of breast cancer. The condition has hit home in sports as US pro golfer Phil Mickelson’s wife and mother began breast cancer treatments in July. Favre spent 16 seasons with Green Bay and will face the Packers for the first time on Monday.
Van Gundy stays with Magic
Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy reached a deal on a contract extension with the NBA team. The Magic also decided to extend the contract of general manager Otis Smith, the Orlando Sentinel newspaper reported on Monday. Smith became general manager in 2006 and hired Van Gundy a year later. Van Gundy has recorded a 111-53 record in two seasons coaching the Magic. He led Orlando to a 59-23 mark and a trip to the NBA finals last season for the first time since 1995 before they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games.