Stoner may be out of race
Reigning world champion Casey Stoner may not get a chance to defend his Indianapolis Grand Prix title after a crash-filled day in Indianapolis on Saturday. And Nicky Hayden will not get to race in front of his home fans. Stoner, last year’s pole winner, crashed in qualifying and was to be re-evaluated yesterday morning after doctors finally decided he had “small, marginal” fractures in his right ankle. American Nicky Hayden crashed and went flying into the air. Series officials said Hayden regained consciousness and was taken to a hospital for a CT scan. After Stoner’s motorcycle wobbled, he tried to regain control, but flew over the handlebars and across the grass. He tried to walk back to his bike, but called a medical team over and was taken away on a stretcher. Originally, doctors thought Stoner had broken his right ankle — an injury that probably would have ended his chance of becoming the race’s first two-time winner. The 26-year-old Stoner, who is racing for the final time in the US this weekend, could have been cleared to ride yesterday.
Bolt too expensive to run
Newly crowned Olympic sprint king Usain Bolt was deliberately not invited to the Stockholm Diamond League meet because the Jamaican commands too great an appearance fee, organizers said. Meet organiser Jan Kowalski told the Expressen tabloid: “We’d get to saturation point if he were to run every year. We had talks with him, but we thought: ‘Is it worth paying the price for him to come?’” Kowalski refused to make any statement on the reported remarks when questioned by reporters, but added that the athletes were invited, or not, following an “overall assessment” and according to a “limited budget.” The absence of the world’s fastest man, who appeared at the Stockholm meet three times between 2009 and last year, was marked by many more empty seats in the stadium than usual, Expressen said.
David Pocock in doubt
Australia captain David Pocock is a doubt for next week’s Rugby Championship clash against New Zealand after injuring his knee in a 27-19 loss to the same opponents on Saturday. The openside flanker was to go for a scan yesterday to assess the damage and Wallabies coach Robbie Deans was coy about his prized poacher’s availability for the match in Auckland, New Zealand. “That’s a possibility,” Deans told reporters when asked if Pocock could miss the Test at Eden Park where Australia have not won since 1986. Scrumhalf Will Genia will lead the side against the World Cup winners if Pocock fails to recover in time, Deans said.
Du Plessis out for season
South Africa hooker Bismarck du Plessis needs surgery on his right knee and has been ruled out for the rest of the season after being injured in the opening minutes of Saturday’s win over Argentina in the Rugby Championship. The South African Rugby Union says Du Plessis was diagnosed with knee ligament damage following the game in Cape Town and has been withdrawn from the squad to travel to Argentina yesterday. The Springboks beat Argentina 27-6 in the Pumas’ southern hemisphere debut. South Africa has called up Du Plessis’ Sharks teammate, Craig Burden, as cover. Adriaan Strauss and Tiaan Liebenberg are the other hookers in the squad, while prop Dean Greyling, lock Juandre Kruger and scrumhalf Jano Vermaak have also been added.