Grugger breathes on his own
Austrian Hans Grugger, in an induced coma since he suffered a crash during training in Kitzbuehel, Austria, two weeks ago, was breathing on his own and increasingly opening his eyes, doctors said on Monday. Grugger’s breathing improved significantly so that he was taken off the ventilator, Alexandra Kofler, neurosurgeon and medical director at Innsbruck hospital, said. “The patient is now breathing on his own, but he is still very exhausted and sleepy. He is increasingly awake and already shows partial reactions. He keeps opening his eyes and can squeeze one’s hand if encouraged to.” Grugger, 29, suffered a crash during training on Jan. 20.
US cancel friendly in Egypt
US soccer authorities said on Monday that the US’ friendly match scheduled in Cairo for Tuesday has been canceled because of political unrest in Egypt. The match between the US and the reigning Africa Cup of Nations champions Egypt had been announced on Dec. 13 last year, and would have been the first ever in Egypt for a US side. “Due to the current situation, all parties agreed it was best to cancel the match,” US Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said on Monday. The next game for the US, who are preparing this year for the North American continental championship the Gold Cup in June, will be against Argentina on March 27.
Union, league agree to talks
In a bid to “intensify” labor talks, the NFL and the union representing its players have agreed to a series of talks starting on Saturday in the Dallas area. NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith and league commissioner Roger Goodell met in New York on Monday to discuss a range of issues related to a new collective bargaining agreement. “As part of a process to intensify negotiations, they agreed to hold a formal bargaining session with both negotiating teams on Saturday,” a joint statement said. NFL owners and players are trying to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement to replace the one that expires March 4 in an attempt to avert a potential lock-out of players.
Liu returns to Europe
Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang will compete in Europe for the first time in three years at next week’s indoor meeting in Duesseldorf, Germany, organizers said on Monday. The 2004 Athens Olympic champion, who has set his sights on reclaiming his title in London next year after limping out injured in front of his home fans in Beijing three years ago, will use the meet in an effort to find his top form. “Liu Xiang’s participation in Duesseldorf proves the world-wide importance of the Duesseldorf PSD Bank Meeting,” Duesseldorf’s Lord Mayor Dirk Elbers said.
Malaysia exits Fed Cup
Malaysia has pulled out of this week’s Fed Cup women’s team tennis event after failing to find any players good enough to compete, an official of the Southeast Asian nation’s tennis body said yesterday. The Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) said they had reviewed some players, but found none suitable to don the national colors. “We had a look at a few players, including two Swedish-based Malaysian-born talents, but they were not good enough,” LTAM executive secretary Ibrahim Abu Bakar told Malaysia’s New Straits Times. “We withdrew from the tournament mainly because we could not get the best players to represent the country.”