Nash out for season
Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash has been officially ruled out for the rest of the season, according to a report on the NBA’s Web site on Thursday. The two-time NBA Most Valuable Player played in just 10 of the struggling Lakers’ 64 games this season because of a nerve problem in his back. Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni closed the door on any chance of the 40-year-old Canadian returning for the last 18 games of what has been a disappointing season for the storied franchise. “He’s not going to play,” said D’Antoni, whose Lakers are in second-last place in the 15-team Western Conference with a 22-42 record. Nash’s last game was early last month, when he played nearly 17 minutes against the Utah Jazz before sitting out the second half. He had two points and two assists in the game. The news comes one day after the Lakers said hobbled five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant was being shut down for the season.
Eagles, Raiders ramp up
The Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders made the biggest moves on Thursday as NFL teams continued revamping their rosters for the season. Two days after free agency began, the Eagles obtained running back Darren Sproles from the New Orleans Saints in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick. Meanwhile, the Raiders bolstered their defensive unit by signing two free agents, nine-year veteran defensive end Justin Tuck and former Pittsburgh linebacker LaMarr Woodley. In nine total NFL seasons with the Saints and San Diego, Sproles has run for 2,221 yards and 11 touchdowns and caught 378 passes for 3,381 yards and 27 touchdowns. In 15 games for the Saints last season, Sproles rushed for 220 yards and two touchdowns while catching 71 passes for 604 yards and two touchdowns. “Darren Sproles is an unbelievable offensive weapon,” Eagles coach Chip Kelly said. “He can do it all: run, catch. Plus he’s a proven winner. And on top of that, he can bring all of those dynamic skills to the return game as well.” Tuck, who has spent his entire career with the New York Giants, is one of the NFL’s top pass rushers, with 63 tackles and 11 sacks plus an interception in 16 games last season. Woodley played only 11 games last season due to a calf injury, but has 299 tackles, 57 sacks and five interceptions over 94 career NFL games.
Johnson may miss T20
Mitchell Johnson is struggling to be fit for the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh with the Australian fast bowler suffering a toe infection stemming. From Sydney, Cricket Australia said the pace spearhead was receiving treatment and it may mean a late arrival for the 32-year-old in Dhaka where Australia open their campaign against Pakistan on March 23.
Fenninger wins world title
On a great day for ski-crazed Austria, Anna Fenninger won her first overall World Cup title and Marcel Hirscher took a huge step toward his third. Fenninger’s breakout success was expected on Thursday, though Hirscher surprised himself on super-G day at the World Cup Finals by beating the master of the discipline, Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway. Austria can complete its first title double since 2002 when the season-ending slalom and giant slalom — Hirscher’s strongest events — are raced this weekend. Fenninger’s second-place finish behind super-G race winner Lara Gut built an unassailable points lead over her Swiss friend.